Trawl catch composition during different fishing intensity periods in two Mediterranean demersal fishing grounds
Keywords:descartes, veda, esfuerzo pesquero, Mediterráneo Central y Occidental
The study was carried out in two fishing grounds on the Mediterranean continental shelf: one in the Adriatic Sea and one in the Catalan Sea. Samplings on board otter trawlers were performed from November 2002 to December 2003 in the Catalan Sea and from February 2003 to January 2004 in the Adriatic Sea. The Adriatic fishing ground was affected by high fishing intensity from January to June, while the Catalan area was highly exploited from September to February. Fishing activity in the Adriatic area was closed for 45 days, and 62 days in the Catalan area; both periods were in summer. Totals of 92 and 88 species were collected in the Adriatic and Catalan fishing grounds respectively. The species composition of the retained and discarded fractions showed close agreement between the two areas. Mullus barbatus showed very low discard rates in both areas, as well as Loligo vulgaris in the Catalan Sea and Merluccius merluccius in the Adriatic Sea. In both fishing grounds Squilla mantis showed high catch rates with low discards, except in March in the Catalan area. In the Adriatic Sea Liocarcinus depurator was characterized by large discard fractions. In both fishing grounds the retained fraction was slightly higher in the high fishing intensity periods than in the low intensity ones (Adriatic Sea: 0.613 vs 0.524; Catalan Sea: 0.597 vs 0.539), even though the Kruskall Wallis test revealed significant differences (p<0.05) only for the Adriatic Sea.
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