Barbera C.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography |
Moranta J.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography |
Ordines F.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography |
Ramon M.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography |
And 5 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2012
Menorca Channel (Balearic Islands, western Mediterranean) comprises 98,700 Ha of continental shelf. It has been proposed to include this area in the Natura 2000 network due to the wide range of species and habitats of high conservation value found here, such as Posidonia oceanica meadows and maërl and coralligenous beds. This study aimed to establish a scientific basis for managing and protecting the continental shelf bottoms in Menorca Channel. Sampling was carried out with side-scan sonar, beam trawls, box corers, a remote-operated vehicle and an underwater drop camera. The information collected was used to map the habitat distribution between 50 and 100 m depth, as well as make an inventory and describe the spatial patterns of both the specific and functional diversity. A total of 636 species was recorded in a mosaic of habitats in which Corallinacea calcareous algae and other soft red algae (Osmundaria volubilis and Peyssonnelia spp.) were the most abundant groups. Hotspots of specific and functional diversity were located in areas with high habitat heterogeneity and complexity. Protection of Menorca Channel should not only include the habitats and species in the European directives, but also the habitats that are not currently protected, such as O. volubilis and Peyssonnelia beds, due to their biogeographical and ecological interest and their contribution to the biodiversity of shelf bottoms in the Mediterranean Sea. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Castellote M.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration |
Castellote M.,Complutense University of Madrid |
Brotons J.M.,Direccio General de Medi Rural i Mari |
Chicote C.,SUBMON Conservation |
And 3 more authors.
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2015
The presence of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was monitored with echolocation loggers (T-POD) for 12 months in seven Spanish Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Differences and particularities in dolphin seasonal occurrence and habitat use in each MPA are discussed. While bottlenose dolphins were detected year round and at all hours of the day in most of these MPAs, there was a clear preference for the winter period and the night time. At least two of these MPAs provided a more suitable foraging habitat than their surrounding environments. This monitoring method was precise enough to describe the sensitivity of bottlenose dolphins to human activities in and around MPAs. Anthropogenic activities considered in this study included fish farming, presence of commercial trawling, artisanal set nets, and recreational activities (i.e. SCUBA diving and anchoring vessels). MPAs with fish farms or nearby fish trawling activity yielded highest levels of dolphin presence due to an increase in the concentration of prey resources. Diel patterns in dolphin presence were presumably affected by set netting, where dolphins predated on net catches but avoided encounters with fishermen. An inverse relationship between dolphin presence and average intensity of recreational activities was found. A preference for months and times of day of low intensity of recreational activity suggests that human presence in these MPAs might displace bottlenose dolphins. The cost-effective monitoring method presented in this study could help developing required monitoring programs in Spanish Mediterranean protected waters under the European Union Habitats Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Rendell L.,University of St. Andrews |
Simiao S.,University of St. Andrews |
Brotons J.M.,Direccio General de Medi Rural i Mari |
Airoldi S.,Tethys Research Institute |
And 2 more authors.
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems | Year: 2014
Sperm whales in the Mediterranean are classified as 'Endangered' by the IUCN. They are apparently isolated from adjacent Atlantic populations, and subject to anthropogenic pressures including interactions with illegal driftnet fisheries, ship strikes, ingestion of debris and underwater noise. Photo-identification data opportunistically collected from the western Mediterranean basin show that individual sperm whales regularly move in excess of 500km across the western basin, suggesting that this area is occupied by a single population. The best abundance estimate for this region is approximately 400 animals, with confidence intervals between 200 and 1000. Given the mortality levels reported in the literature, this figure suggests that the conservation status of sperm whales in this region is very serious. Immediate priority should be placed both on conducting systematic surveys for abundance estimation and on measures to reduce the mortality associated with driftnet fishing. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Morey G.,Direccio General de Medi Rural i Mari |
Morales-Nin B.,CSIC - Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies |
Riera F.,Direccio General de Medi Rural i Mari |
Grau A.,Direccio General de Medi Rural i Mari |
And 4 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2012
A female cod Gadus morhua L. 87.1 cm total length was captured off Mallorca (Balearic Islands, NW Mediterranean) in June 2009 by a bottom trawler between 63 and 110 m depth. This is the first documented occurrence of the species in the Mediterranean. The fish was mature, with a very low hepatosomatic index and atretric gonads. Age assigned from the otoliths was 4 yr. The otolith chemical composition indicated that this fish entered the Mediterranean late in its first year of life. © Inter-Research 2012.