, Volume 821, Issue 1, pp 135–150 | Cite as

Biomass HotSpot distribution model and spatial interaction of two exploited species of horse mackerel in the south-central Mediterranean Sea

  • Milisenda Giacomo
  • Garofalo Germana
  • Fezzani Samia
  • Rjeibi Okbi
  • Jarboui Othman
  • Chemmam Bachra
  • Ceriola Luca
  • Bonanno Angelo
  • Genovese Simona
  • Basilone Gualtiero
  • Mifsud Roberta
  • Lauria Valentina
  • Gristina Michele
  • Colloca Francesco
  • Fiorentino Fabio


Trachurus trachurus and Trachurus mediterraneus play an important role in the marine ecosystem and represent an important source of income for local economies related to fishery. This study aimed to improve the knowledge on the spatial distribution and habitat requirements of these two horse mackerels in the south-central Mediterranean Sea (Strait of Sicily) by applying specie distribution models. Species’ biomass HotSpots, areas where the highest abundances are concentrated, were modelled as a function of physical and oceanographic parameters. Predictive distribution maps were produced to identify species-specific spatial patterns and possible overlapping in the distribution areas of the two congeneric species. Depth, bottom salinity, bottom sea temperature, sea surface temperature variation and slope were the main drivers for horse mackerels habitat suitability. Predictive distribution maps revealed a clear spatial segregation between biomass HotSpots of the two species, which depends on complex abiotic and biotic relationships. Since horse mackerels are the main component of discards produced by deep rose shrimp fishery in the Strait of Sicily and due to the importance of discard reduction in the current fishery policies, the results can provide important information for setting up spatial-based management strategies for the Strait of Sicily fisheries aimed in particular at minimizing unwanted by-catches.


Species distribution model Trachurus trachurus Trachurus mediterraneus Competition Habitat suitability 



Surveys were co-funded by the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche and the European Union through the Data Collection Framework (DCF—Reg. Ce. No. 199/2008, No. 665/2008 and Commission Decision No. 949/2008). This study was also supported by the FAO Project MedSudMed ‘‘Assessment and Monitoring of the Fishery Resources and the Ecosystems in the Straits of Sicily’’, funded by the Italian Ministry MiPAAF and co-funded by the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission (DG MARE). The Masters of the R/V “Hannibal”, the R/V “G. Dallaporta” and the R/V “S. Anna” and all their crew are thanked for their work.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milisenda Giacomo
    • 1
  • Garofalo Germana
    • 1
  • Fezzani Samia
    • 2
  • Rjeibi Okbi
    • 2
  • Jarboui Othman
    • 3
  • Chemmam Bachra
    • 2
  • Ceriola Luca
    • 4
  • Bonanno Angelo
    • 5
  • Genovese Simona
    • 5
  • Basilone Gualtiero
    • 5
  • Mifsud Roberta
    • 6
  • Lauria Valentina
    • 1
  • Gristina Michele
    • 1
  • Colloca Francesco
    • 1
  • Fiorentino Fabio
    • 1
  1. 1.CNR-IAMCMazara Del ValloItaly
  2. 2.INSTM – Centre de La GouletteLa GouletteTunisia
  3. 3.Institut National des Sciences, et Technologies de la Mer (INSTM) – centre de SfaxSfaxTunisia
  4. 4.FAO MedSudMedRomeItaly
  5. 5.CNR-IAMCTorretta-GranitolaItaly
  6. 6.Department of Fisheries and AquacultureFisheries Resource UnitVallettaMalta

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