Event Abstract

Simulating trophic impacts of recreational fishing scenarios on two oceanic islands using Ecopath with Ecosim

  • 1 Management of the Rural Environment of Canarias SAU, Spain
  • 2 Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • 3 Instituto Universitario de Acuicultura Sostenible y Ecosistemas Marinos (IU-ECOAQUA), Spain

A mass-balance trophic model was built to describe the impact between 2006 and 2016 of the different fleets that operate on the marine ecosystem of the Tenerife-Gomera islands. Thirty-one functional groups were defined, corresponding to benthic, demersal, and pelagic domains, also including the deep scattering layer (DSL) and detritus. Keystone index and mixed trophic impacts matrix showed a bottom-up control in the benthic-demersal area while in the pelagic zone intermediate predators such as cephalopods play a bigger role in the ecosystem. Toothed whales, turtles, oceanic sharks and tunas were identified as a potential keystone species in the pelagic domain, and sparids, epidemersals fish, and cephalopods also were considered keystone groups in the bentho-demersal domain. The assessment of the impact that recreational fishermen exert on most groups is highly dependent of methodology used to collect information of captures and effort from anglers. When the most conservative scenario is considered, the impact of recreational fishing on the ecosystem would hardly be relevant in the short-term. However, if considering two other studies based of on-site survey, the biomass of fish groups, mainly serranids, sparids and herbivorous, will greatly decline, coinciding with the overfishing scenario described for the Canary Islands in the scientific literature.


This work was developed within the framework of the PLASMAR Project (MAC/1.1a/030), with the support of the European Union (EU) and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (EDRF ) and the INTERREG V-A Spain-Portugal MAC 2014-2020 (Madeira-Azores-Canarias).

Keywords: Ecological Indicators, Ecosim, Fishing impact, Network analysis, Recreational fishing, Trophic model

Conference: XX Iberian Symposium on Marine Biology Studies (SIEBM XX) , Braga, Portugal, 9 Sep - 12 Sep, 2019.

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Topic: Fisheries, Aquaculture and Biotechnology

Citation: Couce L, Christensen V, Bilbao-Sieyro A, Perez Y and Castro J (2019). Simulating trophic impacts of recreational fishing scenarios on two oceanic islands using Ecopath with Ecosim. Front. Mar. Sci. Conference Abstract: XX Iberian Symposium on Marine Biology Studies (SIEBM XX) . doi: 10.3389/conf.fmars.2019.08.00054

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Received: 05 Jun 2019; Published Online: 27 Sep 2019.

* Correspondence: Dr. Lorena Couce, Management of the Rural Environment of Canarias SAU, Agüimes, Spain, lorenacm@gmrcanarias.com