Application of a multi-annual generalized depletion model to the assessment of a data-limited coastal fishery in the western Mediterranean
Keywords:stock assessment, data-limited, depletion model, small-scale fisheries, Mullus surmuletus, Sepia officinalis
A multi-annual generalized depletion model was applied to a coastal fishery in Vilanova i la Geltrú (western Mediterranean) to assess the exploitation status of striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus) and cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis), two of the main target species of Mediterranean small-scale fisheries. It is shown that in data-limited stocks, which is often the case in small-scale fisheries, catch and effort data at high temporal frequency (day, week, month) complemented with biological information and a priori knowledge (mean body weight, natural mortality and period of recruitment to the fishery) can be effectively exploited to produce assessment results applicable to fisheries management. For the two species analysed, the assessment results showed that exploitation rates are high and vulnerable biomass has been decreasing over the last 14 years.
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