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Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00153

Trends in effort and yield of trawl fisheries: a case study from the Mediterranean Sea

 Tommaso Russo1*, Paolo Carpentieri2,  Lorenzo D'Andrea1, Paola De Angelis1,  Fabio Fiorentino3, Simone Franceschini1,  Germana Garofalo3,  Lucio Labanchi4, Antonio Parisi1, Michele Scardi1 and Stefano Cataudella1
  • 1University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy
  • 2Maja società cooperativa a.r.l., Italy
  • 3Istituto per l'Ambiente Marino Costiero (IAMC), Italy
  • 4Società cooperativa MABLY, Italy

The rationale applied for monitoring and managing fisheries is based on the implicit assumption that yield and stocks status is essentially determined by fisheries. Moreover, the fisheries yield is quantified and analysed in terms of landings with respect to official management area of registration of vessels. In this way, the real area of activity of each fleet is not considered and this prevent an effective spatial analysis of the factors affecting fisheries yield and stocks status. This paper firstly presents a VMS-based reconstruction of the fishing effort and of the area of activity of the Italian trawlers in the Mediterranean Sea. The fishing area of each fleet is then used as a spatial reference to estimate primary productivity rate and gross primary production and to investigate, by using General Additive Models, the effects of trawling effort, primary production and time on fisheries yield, fisheries productivity and overexploitation rate for some key demersal species. The results evidence that the usage of satellite-based information of fishing activities and of primary production, when combined at the real spatial scale of fishing activities, could effectively improve our ability to analyse the response of the ecosystems to these driving forces and allow capturing the main trends of yield, productivity and overexploitation rate of demersal stocks.

Keywords: Fisheries, Spatial management, effort, VMS, primary production, Mortality, sustainability, Stocks

Received: 22 Dec 2018; Accepted: 11 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Mercedes González-Wangüemert, Centro de Ciências do Mar (CCMAR), Portugal

Reviewed by:

Fabio Pranovi, Università Ca' Foscari, Italy
M Cristina Mangano, Bangor University, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2019 Russo, Carpentieri, D'Andrea, De Angelis, Fiorentino, Franceschini, Garofalo, Labanchi, Parisi, Scardi and Cataudella. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Tommaso Russo, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy, Tommaso.Russo@Uniroma2.it