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Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management of a Biological Corridor Along the Northern Sonora Coastline (NE Gulf of California)

Part of the Estuaries of the World book series (EOTW)

Abstract

The coastline of Northern Sonora is dominated by hypersaline estuaries and vast rocky intertidal zones that are intermittently covered by the extreme tides characteristic of the Northern Gulf of California. Research on the spatial-temporal distribution of flora and fauna in wetland, sandy-muddy bottoms, the pelagic zone, subtidal rocky reefs and an offshore island offer an in depth characterization of the region’s habitats and allow the definition of a unique biological Corridor for the coastal zone between Punta Borrascoso and Puerto Lobos, Sonora. Trophic studies and coupled oceanographic-biological models validated by larval dispersal and population genetic studies on commercial species highlight the connectivity between marine and coastal habitats and support the Corridor as a distinct management unit, especially for fisheries. Patterns of human use along the coast (fisheries, tourism and coastal development) have been documented and currently stakeholders in six communities are engaged in fisheries monitoring and management. The wealth of information available on this Corridor supports an ecosystem-based approach for fisheries management. The traditional hurdles to successful implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management can be overcome for the coastal fisheries of the Peñasco Corridor by defining essential habitats for important target species, identifying trophic interactions, involving fishers and coastal communities in spatial planning and decision-making, and creating a positive incentive system.

Keywords

  • Ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM)
  • Connectivity
  • Marine spatial planning
  • Northern Gulf of California
  • Food web connectivity

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Acknowledgments

This project would not have been possible without the vision and financial support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s ecosystem-based management initiative. Too many researchers, partners and co-workers have been involved to give mention to all, but staff members that have been key to conducting this work and deserve special thanks for their dedication to different components of this long-term process, include Dr. Sergio Perez-Valencia, Rene Loaiza-Villanueva, Elia Polanco, Angeles Yazmin Sánchez Cruz, Ema Elizabeth González Plascencia, Marlene Anaid Luquin Covarrubias, David Buitrago, Verónica Castañeda, Paloma Valdivia, Hitandehui Tovar Vázquez and Alejandro Castillo. Most importantly and significantly we give thanks to the fishers of the Peñasco Corridor, who have openly shared their lives, their fisheries and aspirations to move towards creating a more functional fisheries system.

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Turk-Boyer, P., Morzaria-Luna, H., Martinez-Tovar, I., Downton-Hoffmann, C., Munguia-Vega, A. (2014). Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management of a Biological Corridor Along the Northern Sonora Coastline (NE Gulf of California). In: Amezcua, F., Bellgraph, B. (eds) Fisheries Management of Mexican and Central American Estuaries. Estuaries of the World. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8917-2_9

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