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Macho G.,University of Vigo | Macho G.,University of South Carolina | Naya I.,University of La Coruña | Freire J.,Barrabes Next | Molares J.,Subdireccion General de Investigacion e Apoio Cientifico Tecnico
Ambio | Year: 2013

Many authors have pointed out the need for simpler assessment and management procedures for avoiding overexploitation in small-scale fisheries. Nevertheless, models for providing scientific advice for sustainable small-scale fisheries management have not yet been published. Here we present one model; the case of the Barefoot Fisheries Advisors (BFAs) in the Galician co-managed Territorial Users Rights for Fishing. Based on informal interviews, gray literature and our personal experience by being involved in this process, we have analyzed the historical development and evolution of roles of this novel and stimulating actor in small-scale fisheries management. The Galician BFA model allows the provision of good quality and organized fisheries data to facilitate and support decision-making processes. The BFAs also build robust social capital by acting as knowledge collectors and translators between fishers, managers, and scientists. The BFAs have become key actors in the small-scale fisheries management of Galicia and a case for learning lessons. © 2013 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


Juan-Jorda M.J.,University of La Coruña | Juan-Jorda M.J.,Simon Fraser University | Juan-Jorda M.J.,Tecnalia | Mosqueira I.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Scombrids (tunas, bonitos, Spanish mackerels and mackerels) support important fisheries in tropical, subtropical and temperate waters around the world, being one of the most economically- and socially-important marine species globally. Their sustainable exploitation, management and conservation depend on accurate life history information for the development of quantitative fisheries stock assessments, and in the fishery data-poor situations for the identification of vulnerable species. Here, we assemble life history traits (maximum size, growth, longevity, maturity, fecundity, spawning duration and spawning interval) for the 51 species of scombrids globally. We identify major biological gaps in knowledge and prioritize life history research needs in scombrids based on their biological gaps in knowledge, the importance of their fisheries and their current conservation status according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. We find that the growth and reproductive biology of tunas and mackerel species have been more extensively studied than for Spanish mackerels and bonitos, although there are notable exceptions in all groups. We also reveal that reproductive biology of species, particular fecundity, is the least studied biological aspect in scombrids. We identify two priority groups, including 32 species of scombrids, and several populations of principal market tunas, for which life history research should be prioritized following the species-specific life history gaps identified in this study in the coming decades. By highlighting the important gaps in biological knowledge and providing a priority setting for life history research in scombrid species this study provides guidance for management and conservation and serves as a guide for biologists and resource managers interested in the biology, ecology, and management of scombrid species. © 2013 Juan-Jordá et al.


Juan-Jorda M.J.,University of La Coruña | Juan-Jorda M.J.,Simon Fraser University | Juan-Jorda M.J.,Tecnalia | Mosqueira I.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | And 2 more authors.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries | Year: 2013

The scombrids (tunas, bonitos, Spanish mackerels and mackerels) sustain some of the most important fisheries in the world and their sustainable management depends on better understanding of their life history strategies. Here, we first assemble life history information on maximum size, growth, longevity, maturity, fecundity and spawning duration and interval for all scombrid species. Second we characterize their life history patterns and trait co-variation and evaluate how many principal axes of trait variation underlie scombrid life history strategies. Most of their life history variation can be explained along three axes or dimensions: size, speed, and reproductive schedule. Body size governs the first axis ranking species along a small-large continuum. The second axis was mostly influenced by time-related traits, such as longevity, growth rates, spawning duration, time between spawning events, ranking species along a slow-fast continuum of life histories. Scombrid species with the slowest life histories such as Atlantic bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus and Atlantic mackerel Scomber scombrus tend to inhabit more temperate waters while species with faster life histories such as yellowfin tuna Thunnus albacares and short mackerel Rastrelliger brachysoma are typically found in more tropical waters. The third axis comprises the negative relationship between number of eggs produced at length of maturity and rate in gain of fecundity with size describing the schedule of reproductive allocation which reflects a fundamental trade-off between reproduction and growth. Finally, in addition we show that the life history strategies of scombrids conform more closely to the Periodic and Opportunistic strategists within the triangular model of fish life histories. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Sanchez-Carnero N.,University of Vigo | Rodriguez-Perez D.,Spanish University for Distance Education (UNED) | Zaragoza N.,Institute Dinvestigacio Per A La Gestio Integrada Of Zones Costaneres | Espinosa V.,Institute Dinvestigacio Per A La Gestio Integrada Of Zones Costaneres | Freire J.,Barrabes Next
Oceanologia | Year: 2014

Management of shellfish resources requires a spatial approach where mapping is a key tool. Acoustic techniques have been rarely used to map infaunal organisms with a patchy distribution. We propose and test the use of splitbeam echosounder angular information to assess razor shell presence and relative density. Our statistical approach combines textural analysis of angular echograms, standard unsupervised multivariate methods and hierarchical classification through dendrograms to identify groups of locations with similar clam densities. The statistical analyses show that the classification is consistent with groundtruthing data and that results are insensitive to boat motion or seabed granulometry. The method developed here constitutes a promising tool for assessing the relative density of razor clam grounds. © Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, 2014.


Fernandez-Boan M.,University of La Coruña | Freire J.,Barrabes Next | Parma A.M.,CONICET | Fernandez L.,University of La Coruña | Orensanz J.M.,CONICET
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2013

The assessment and management of small-scale benthic fisheries requires attention to the spatial structure of stocks and patterns of effort allocation. Spatial information helps in the interpretation of fisheries data, and is required for designing spatially explicit management strategies, often prescribed in the case of benthic fisheries. Monitoring of boats with GPS, combined with port interviews, was evaluated as an approach to investigate the spatial pattern of fishing intensity and catch per unit of effort (CPUE) in the sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) diving fishery from Galicia, Spain. Fishing opportunities (FOs), relatively small regions of high fishing intensity, were identified and mapped at a fine scale. New FOs were first visited at an approximately constant rate. Concentration analysis shows that effort intensity was not uniformly distributed within FOs. CPUE did not exhibit a significant trend throughout the season, either at the scale of the aggregated fishery or within individual FOs. Catch per area and area covered per unit of diving time were inversely related, indicating that fishers stay longer in high-density patches. While abundance is the primary driver of effort allocation, other factors contributing to suitability were identified. Based on these results, we discuss realistic options for the monitoring of this and comparable fisheries. © 2013 © 2013 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Pita P.,University da Corun A | Fernandez-Marquez D.,University da Corun A | Freire J.,Barrabes Next
Marine and Freshwater Research | Year: 2014

Comparative works on sampling techniques allow selecting the best methods to study each target fish community. We analysed the structure of a coastal fish community in Galicia (north-western Spain) by comparing the following three techniques: diver-based underwater visual census (UVC), remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and remote underwater video (RUV). All techniques detected abundant and frequent taxa, but divers obtained more precise and complete inventories (80% of identified taxa) than did ROV (60%) and RUV (47%), were faster (only 1.4 days to achieve the estimated taxa list) than were ROV (2.0 days) and RUV (475.7 days), and were more reliable in estimating the abundances of highly mobile, less abundant, less frequent, cryptic and smaller fish. Conversely, RUV obtained the poorest estimates of abundances, and even though it obtained more replicates (136), there were more zeros (98%) than with divers (16 replicates, 64% zeros) and ROV (11 replicates, 75% zeros). Furthermore, the economic cost of the video system was triple the cost of the diving gear; consequently, we recommend using divers to study the coastal fish communities in the shallow waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. However, further research is necessary to explore the full capabilities of video techniques in long-term studies, in greater depths and in adverse weather conditions. © 2014 CSIRO .


Cambie G.,Bangor University | Cambie G.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Muino R.,University of La Coruña | Mingozzi T.,University of Calabria | Freire J.,Barrabes Next
Fisheries Research | Year: 2013

Fleet expansion, increased gear efficiency, increased effort and the constant improvement in fishing methods have greatly contributed to the current overexploitation of many target stocks. It is therefore essential to identify and monitor the changes in fishing practices as well as the technological creep to determine their implications for the conservation of target and non-target species. The present study documents the recent technical and operational changes in a longline fishery targeting swordfish (Xiphias gladius) operating in southern Italy (Ionian Calabria). Data collected during the swordfish fishing seasons of 2007, 2010 and 2011 showed a significant change in fishing practices over the survey years, as the longline fishery switched from surface (10-100. m) to mid-water (100-500. m) depth and from 11. h to 25-30. h soak time. These modifications in fishing operations, which result in an increase and redistribution of the effort, were motivated by a drastic decrease in the swordfish catches made with the traditional surface longline. They have modified the fleet structure, catch species composition and size of the target species. Although these operational changes resulted in an increase in the swordfish size and a decrease in the sea turtle bycatch, their implications for less known and potentially more vulnerable commercial and bycatch species are unclear. Moreover, the shift of fishing effort into deeper water is a well-documented evolution of many fisheries worldwide in response to the decline in shallow coastal water resources. The change in fishing practice of the pelagic longline fishery reported in the present study could be considered an additional alarm bell of the current state of overexploitation of the Mediterranean swordfish. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Pita P.,University of La Coruña | Freire J.,Barrabes Next
Fisheries Management and Ecology | Year: 2014

The use of commercial catch statistics to estimate overfishing consequences has been criticised, but alternative long-term data sets are rare. Long time-series data sets from recreational fisheries competitions have been used to infer trends in coastal fish communities. Here an historic archive (1953-2007) of recreational spear fisheries in Galicia (NW Spain) was employed to estimate long-term changes in coastal ecosystems. Using generalised additive regression models, decreases in the abundances of coastal rocky reef fishes of up to 76% over the last 50 years were found. In the same period, the mean body weight also decreased by 76%. In addition, relative catch frequency has decreased for the most valuable commercial species. Overfishing, amongst other human impacts, has brought these ecosystems so close to collapse that it is urgent to implement measures to ensure their recovery. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


The term remote sensing is related to the action of obtaining information about an object, area or phenomenon without a direct contact. Over time this term has become increasingly important due to technological advances until becoming a technique of obtaining information, key in many and different fields. However, especially in Spain, the information about these issues is scarce and distribute in several sources. For this reason, this text attempts to bring together the main historical milestones in remote sensing at a national level. It is not expected to be an exhaustive review; however it reflects its evolution over time from what its beginnings were to what we know today.


Fernandez-Boan M.,University of La Coruña | Fernandez L.,University of La Coruña | Freire J.,Barrabes Next
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2012

We analysed the development of a small-scale fishery targeting sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) in Galicia (NW Spain). Governance of the fishery is based on a co-management system involving both the fisheries authority and the communities that traditionally have exploited coastal benthic or low-mobility resources, like sea urchin. Access is regulated with fishing licences and territorially-based use privileges ('TURFs'). Annual time series of sea urchin landings, CPUE (kg vessel-1 day-1), and prices for the period 1975-2010 were analysed in order to relate fishery performance to changes in management. In 1986 a set of management regulations was implemented for the first time in this fishery. The pre-regulation period was characterized by a shift in fishing technique, (from a metal ring with a net attached to a rod, which is used with a glass bottom bucket to catch sea urchins from the vessel), to diving, which drastically increased catchability (CPUE). During the regulation period CPUE became stable due to the introduction of a daily catch limit, but this measure did not result in an immediate reduction in sea urchin landings. The current management system, implemented in 1993, was able to reduce fishing effort and landings, keeping the latter stable over the last 12 years despite a progressive increase in market prices. This trend was observed in our focal case of study, but temporal local closures of fishing activity were frequent throughout Galicia from 1993 to 2010. We assessed the strengths and weaknesses of management strategies in place during the study period, and identified some problems in the fishery. The TURF system had demonstrated potential benefits for this fishery, but territories should be redefined combining biological, ecological and socio-economic criteria. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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