Spillover from six western Mediterranean marine protected area: evidence from artisanal fisheries

Goni, Raquel; Adlerstein, Sara; Alvarez-Berastegui, D.; Forcada, Aitor; Renones, O.; Criquet, Geraldine; Polti, Sandrine; Cadiou, Gwenael; Valle, Carlos; Lenfant, Philippe; Bonhomme, P.; Perez-Ruzafa, Angel; Sanchez-Lizaso, Jose Luis; Garcia Charton, Jose Antonio; Bernard, Guillaume; Stelzenmüller, Vanessa GND; Planes, S.

This study investigated spillover (biomass export) around 6 marine protected areas (MPAs) in the western Mediterranean based on catch and effort data from artisanal fisheries. The selected MPAs were Cerbère-Banyuls and Carry-le-Rouet in France, and Medes, Cabrera, Tabarca, and Cabo de Palos in Spain. These MPAs had been functional for more than 8 yr and incorporate areas of fisheries closure and restricted use where fishing is limited. We based our study on the hypotheses that, in the presence of biomass export, (1) fishing effort would concentrate close to MPA boundaries, and (2) fishery production, expressed as catch per unit area (CPUA), would be highest near MPA boundaries and decrease with distance. We selected data from 14 ‘fishing tactics’ using gill nets, trammel nets and bottom long-lines targeting sparids, mullids, serranids, scorpaenids and palinurids. We analyzed the spatial distribution of effort, fishery production and revenues per unit area, using generalized additive models (GAMs), and we tested regression slopes of effort density and CPUA with distance to closure boundaries, using generalized linear models (GLMs). GAMs allowed us to recognize habitat discontinuities or ‘hot spots’ of high production in the vicinity of the MPAs, and to identify the extent of potential spillover effects in order to implement GLMs. We found evidence of effort concentration and high fishery production near fisheries closures for all fishing tactics analyzed and significant negative slopes for most. Revenues generally followed trends similar to CPUA. Significant negative slopes from GLM of effort density and CPUA with distance from fisheries closures were indicative of biomass export where habitats across closure boundaries had some degree of continuity. The spatial extent of spillover was consistent with species mobility and fisheries efficiency and extended 700 to 2500 m from fishery closure boundaries. Our results suggest that coastal MPAs can be an effective management tool for artisanal fisheries in the region and can be extended to the rest of the western Mediterranean, as the fishing tactics studied are typical of the region.

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Goni, Raquel / Adlerstein, Sara / Alvarez-Berastegui, D. / et al: Spillover from six western Mediterranean marine protected area: evidence from artisanal fisheries. 2008.

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