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Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 347–360 | Cite as

Harvesting and population status of Hexaplex trunculus (Gastropoda: Muricidae) in intertidal areas along the Gulf of Gabès (southern Tunisia)

  • Kamel Elhasni
  • Paulo Vasconcelos
  • Mohamed Ghorbel
  • Othman Jarboui
Article

Abstract

Although the banded murex (Hexaplex trunculus) is extensively exploited by hand harvesting in intertidal areas along the Gulf of Gabès (southern Tunisia), there is scarce information available on this fishing activity and on the population status of this muricid gastropod species. In this context, the present study aimed to characterise the harvesting activity and analyse the spatial distribution, abundance, biomass, population structure and mortality of H. trunculus. Sampling surveys were performed during March–August 2009 using quadrats (100 m2) in 721 sampling stations distributed along 157 transects perpendicular to the coastline. Overall, 6608 H. trunculus were collected with broad ranges in both shell length (13.6–78.5 mm) and total weight (0.2–63.8 g). GIS-produced maps were employed to illustrate the species spatial distribution, by extrapolating the estimated abundance, biomass and mortality to the total intertidal area surveyed in the Gulf of Gabès. This study provides baseline data on the local populations of H. trunculus, which constitutes valuable information for proposing conservation and management measures aiming ultimately to achieve the sustainable exploitation and long-term preservation of this coastal fishing resource from the Gulf of Gabès.

Keywords

Banded murex Spatial distribution Abundance Demographic structure Mortality Fishery management measures 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Authors acknowledge the colleagues from the INSTM for valuable help and support during field surveys and laboratory sampling. The author Paulo Vasconcelos was funded by a post-doctoral grant (SFRH/BPD/26348/2006) awarded by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT - Portugal). Thanks are also due to the anonymous reviewer that provided helpful comments and suggestions for improving the revised version of the manuscript.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer (INSTM)SfaxTunisie
  2. 2.Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA, I.P.)OlhãoPortugal
  3. 3.Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM), Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal

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