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Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 41–50 | Cite as

Management strategies for sustainable invertebrate fisheries in coastal ecosystems of Galicia (NW Spain)

  • J. Freire
  • C. Bernárdez
  • A. Corgos
  • L. Fernández
  • E. González-Gurriarán
  • M.P. Sampedro
  • P. Verísimo
Article

Abstract

Artisanal coastal invertebrate fisheries in Galicia are socio-economically important and ecologically relevant. Their management, however, has been based on models of fish population dynamics appropriate for highly mobile demersal or pelagic resources and for industrial fisheries. These management systems focus on regulating fishing effort, but in coastal ecosystems activities that change or destruct key habitats may have a greater effect on population abundance than does fishing mortality. The Golfo Artabro was analysed as a representative example of a coastal ecosystem in Galicia, and the spider crab Maja squinado used as a model of an exploited coastal invertebrate, for which shallow coastal areas are key habitats for juvenile stages. The commercial legal gillnet fishery for the spider crab harvests adults during their reproductive migrations to deep waters and in their wintering habitats. Illegal fisheries operate in shallow waters. The annual rate of exploitation is >90%, and <10% of the primiparous females reproduce effectively at least once. A simple spatially-explicit cohort model was constructed to simulate the population dynamics of spider crab females. Yield- and egg-per-recruit analyses corresponding to different exploitation regimes were performed to compare management policies directed to control the fishing effort or to protect key habitats. It was found that the protection of juvenile habitats could allow increases in yield and reproductive effort higher than in the present system, with such protection based in the control of the fishing effort of the legal fishery. Additionally, there is an urgent need for alternative research and management strategies in artisanal coastal fisheries based on the implementation of a system of territorial use rights for fishers, the integration of the fishers into assessment and management processes, and the protection of key habitats (marine reserves) as a basic tool for the regulation of the fisheries.

coastal ecosystems fisheries management conservation biology benthic invertebrates marine protected areas population dynamics 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Freire
  • C. Bernárdez
  • A. Corgos
  • L. Fernández
  • E. González-Gurriarán
  • M.P. Sampedro
  • P. Verísimo

There are no affiliations available

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