Capture Fisheries Section

Marsaxlokk, Malta

Capture Fisheries Section

Marsaxlokk, Malta
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Katsanevakis S.,Hellenic Center for Marine Research | Katsanevakis S.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Weber A.,Norwegian Institute for Water Research | Pipitone C.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | And 26 more authors.
Aquatic Biology | Year: 2012

Effective monitoring of populations and communities is a prerequisite for ecosystembased management of marine areas. However, monitoring programs often neglect important sources of error and thus can lead to biased estimates, spurious conclusions and false management actions. One such source of error is 'imperfect detectability', i.e. the inability of investigators to detect all individuals or all species in a surveyed area. Although there has been great effort to develop monitoring methods that account for imperfect detectability, the application of such methods in the marine environment is not as apparent as in other systems. Plot sampling is by far the most commonly applied method for biological monitoring in the marine environment, yet it largely ignores detectability issues. However, distance sampling, mark-recapture methods, repeated presence-absence surveys for occupancy estimation, and removal methods do estimate detection probabilities and provide unbiased estimates of state variables. We review these methods and the relevant tools for their application in studies on marine populations and communities, with the aim of assisting marine biologists and managers to understand the limitations and pitfalls associated with some approaches and to select the best available methods for their monitoring needs. © Inter-Research 2012.

Salomidi M.,Hellenic Center for Marine Research | Katsanevakis S.,Hellenic Center for Marine Research | Katsanevakis S.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Borja A.,Tecnalia | And 11 more authors.
Mediterranean Marine Science | Year: 2012

The goal of ecosystem-based marine spatial management is to maintain marine ecosystems in a healthy, productive and resilient condition; hence, they can sustainably provide the needed goods and services for human welfare. However, the increasing pressures upon the marine realm threaten marine ecosystems, especially seabed biotopes, and thus a well-planned approach of managing use of marine space is essential to achieve sustainability. The relative value of seabed biotopes, evaluated on the basis of goods and services, is an important starting point for the spatial management of marine areas. Herein, 56 types of European seabed biotopes and their related goods, services, sensitivity issues, and conservation status were compiled, the latter referring to management and protection tools which currently apply for these biotopes at European or international level. Fishing activities, especially by benthic trawls, and marine pollution are the main threats to European seabed biotopes. Increased seawater turbidity, dredged sediment disposal, coastal constructions, biological invasions, mining, extraction of raw materials, shipping-related activities, tourism, hydrocarbon exploration, and even some practices of scientific research, also exert substantial pressure. Although some first steps have been taken to protect the European sea beds through international agreements and European and national legislation, a finer scale of classification and assessment of marine biotopes is considered crucial in shaping sound priorities and management guidelines towards the effective conservation and sustainability of European marine resources.

Coll M.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Coll M.,Montpellier University | Cury P.,Montpellier University | Azzurro E.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | And 14 more authors.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries | Year: 2013

This manuscript is an outcome of the workshop entitled "Scientific Strategy for a Global Approach to Promote Regional Ecosystem-based Approach to Fisheries (EAF) in the Mediterranean and Black Seas" held in Sète (France) in July 2012. The workshop was organized by Work-Package 6 of the coordination action "Coordinating Research in Support to Application of Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Management Advice in the Mediterranean and Black Seas" (CREAM), funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme. The main aim of the workshop was to discuss what is needed to advance on a robust scientific strategy to promote EAF in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Participants discussed a series of scientific recommendations for promoting the coordination of initiatives with the aim of contributing to an operational EAF. Discussion was carried out on (i) what can be learnt from case studies that promote EAF worldwide, (ii) how a scientific strategy for EAF can be built, and (iii) which are the future scientific networking activities to promote EAF. Here we summarize the discussions and conclusions of the workshop, and we present the recommendations and future initiatives proposed to advance EAF in the Mediterranean and Black Seas region. Participants to the workshop agreed that the achievement of a common vision regarding the Mediterranean and Black Seas region should be one of the first and most important elements towards a successful EAF. A common vision should recognise the need to promote the reconciliation of conservation and exploitation, and to aim for a good socioeconomic and ecological status. The vision should also promote the recovery of ecosystems and rebuilding of marine commercial stocks and predator species. EAF initiatives, carried out worldwide, illustrated that whilst the development of relevant science is essential to render the EAF process operational, the involvement of stakeholders is the key factor that characterises successful initiatives. This is especially important in the Mediterranean and Black Sea context, where many stakeholders show conflicting interests and associated trade-offs. During the workshop, it became clear that numerous overlapping and poorly coordinated initiatives for EAF exist in the region. The group discussed the integration of the existing initiatives in a coordinated manner and arrived to the conclusion that a scientific network to promote coordinated and operational EAF initiatives created by the scientific community is needed. Ultimately, the discussion was focused on how to build such a scientific network and how to proceed to consolidate the regional scientific vision, with a clear scientific strategy and roadmap, including a diversified toolbox. In the short term, the proposed EAF scientific network should (i) document and coordinate scientific initiatives, (ii) promote the sharing of scientific information and capabilities, (iii) promote data availability, integration, harmonization, and interoperability, (iv) promote training capabilities and capacity building of the scientific community and stakeholders, (v) establish mechanisms to disseminate knowledge, and communicate EAF benefits, and (vi) promote concrete regional scientific initiatives. In the long run, the network should promote scientific advice on EAF to inform adaptive management, and promote EAF implementation at different geographical scales (from local to regional) using a transversal approach. The ultimate goal of the network should be to link management advice to good scientific information providing useful advice to address management objectives (i.e. present the trade-offs), and creating a knowledge-based management approach. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Stelzenmuller V.,VTI Institute of Sea Fisheries | Breen P.,Cefas | Stamford T.,Cefas | Thomsen F.,Cefas | And 31 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2013

This study introduces a framework for the monitoring and evaluation of spatially managed areas (SMAs), which is currently being tested by nine European case studies. The framework provides guidance on the selection, mapping, and assessment of ecosystem components and human pressures, the evaluation of management effectiveness and potential adaptations to management. Moreover, it provides a structured approach with advice on spatially explicit tools for practical tasks like the assessment of cumulative impacts of human pressures or pressure-state relationships. The case studies revealed emerging challenges, such as the lack of operational objectives within SMAs, particularly for transnational cases, data access, and stakeholder involvement. Furthermore, the emerging challenges of integrating the framework assessment using scientific information with a structured governance research analysis based mainly on qualitative information are addressed. The lessons learned will provide a better insight into the full range of methods and approaches required to support the implementation of the ecosystem approach to marine spatial management in Europe and elsewhere. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Stelzenmuller V.,TI Institute of Sea Fisheries | Vega Fernandez T.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | Cronin K.,Deltares | Rockmann C.,Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies IMARES | And 15 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2015

Marine spatial planning (MSP) is advocated to support an ecosystem approach to marine management, as it allows consideration of multiple management objectives including marine conservation. The monitoring and evaluation of both implemented marine plans and the planning process itself is susceptible to various uncertainties. Here, uncertainties related to a stepwise monitoring and evaluation framework for spatially managed areas were characterised and quantified with the help of two modified and developed tools. In particular, Walker-type and pedigree matrices were utilised to assess both the sources and respective relative levels of uncertainty present in the assessment of nine European case studies that conducted a stepwise monitoring and evaluation process applying a common framework. Across the southern and northern European case studies major sources of uncertainty were found in relation to the knowledge base, management scenarios with related objectives and data availability. Although case studies made flexible use of the framework to account for the particularities of the local realms, the revealed pattern of associated uncertainty was highly consistent across the case studies. The scored pedigree matrices showed that the criteria 'stakeholder engagement' and 'cross validation' had greatest influence on the overall robustness of the case study assessments. The observed distribution of median pedigree scores was within acceptable ranges with respect to simulated possible score distributions. In addition, a sensitivity analysis revealed that the scoring of the pedigree criteria by five or more experts would result in less variable interquartile ranges of respective median scores. In conclusion, the developed complementary tools showed great flexibility in characterising and assessing uncertainty despite context-dependent differences among case studies such as geographical area, quality of available data, level of spatial management implementation or management objectives. Moreover, the obtained findings allow prioritising efforts and future research to support an iterative monitoring and evaluation of marine spatial plans. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Fadhlaoui-Zid K.,National Institute of Marine science and Technologies | Knittweis L.,Capture Fisheries Section | Aurelle D.,Aix - Marseille University | Nafkha C.,National Institute of Marine science and Technologies | And 6 more authors.
Comptes Rendus - Biologies | Year: 2012

The polymorphism of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase III was studied in the Mediterranean octopus, Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797. A total of 202 specimens from seven sampling sites were analysed with the aim of elucidating patterns of genetic structure in the central Mediterranean Sea and to give an insight into the phylogeny of the Octopus genus. Phylogenetic analyses showed that individuals from the central Mediterranean belong to the O. vulgaris species whose limits should nevertheless be clarified. Concerning genetic structure, two high-frequency haplotypes were present in all locations. The overall genetic divergence (ΦST = 0.05, P < 0.05) indicated a significant genetic structuring in the study area and an AMOVA highlighted a significant break between western and eastern Mediterranean basins (ΦCT = 0.094, P < 0.05). Possible explanations for the observed patterns of genetic structuring are discussed with reference to their relevance for fisheries management. © 2012 Académie des sciences.

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