, Volume 449, Issue 1–3, pp 267–277 | Cite as

Discards of the Algarve (southern Portugal) crustacean trawl fishery

  • P. Monteiro
  • A. Araújo
  • K. Erzini
  • M. Castro


The crustacean trawl fishery off the Algarve coast (southern Portugal) takes place on the lower continental shelf and upper continental slope at depths between 150 and 600 m. This is a multi-species fishery targeting the shrimps Parapenaeus longirostris and Aristeus antennatus and the Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus, with the latter two species the most important in the landings. The fishery is characterised by significant by-catch and discarding of a large number of species. As part of a study on the fate of trawl fishery discards, this component of the study focused on the quantification of the by-catch and discards of crustacean trawlers. Sampling took place on board seven commercial trawlers from June 1998 to October 1999. Data was collected from 48 tows in 22 fishing trips. The observers collected all of the catch that was discarded by the crew during the sorting operation and samples were taken to the laboratory for identification, weighing and measuring. The quantities of target species were recorded along with the presence of retained by-catch. Commercially valuable species that were retained included Plesiopenaeus edwardsianus, Aristeomorpha foliacea, Plesionika sp., and the fishes Lophius piscatorius and Merluccius merluccius. However, most of the species had no or little commercial value and were almost always discarded to the sea (90%). A total of 91 species were identified, 47 vertebrates and 44 invertebrates corresponding to 65 families. The Teleostei (78% and 68%) were the dominant group, both in number and weight. The species Micromesistius poutassou (34%), Gadiculus argenteus (10%) and Hoplostethus mediterraneus (8%) were the most important in weight. Ten species represented more than 82% of all discards in weight. Gadiculus argenteus (29%), Hoplostethus mediterraneus (21%) and Nezumia sclerorhynchus (10%) accounted for 60% of all discards in numbers. Data on the landed species composition is also presented.

crustacean fisheries by-catch discards ecological impact 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Monteiro
    • 1
  • A. Araújo
    • 2
  • K. Erzini
    • 2
  • M. Castro
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR)Universidade do Algarve, GambelasFaroPortugal
  2. 2.Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR)Universidade do Algarve, GambelasFaroPortugal

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