WWF Mediterranean Programme Office

Barcelona, Spain

WWF Mediterranean Programme Office

Barcelona, Spain
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Ojaveer H.,University of Tartu | Galil B.S.,Israel Oceanographic And Limnological Research | Minchin D.,Marine Organism Investigations | Minchin D.,Klaipeda University | And 19 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2014

The main objective of recent international legislative measures and policies concerning marine ecosystems is to ensure sustainable environmental management to maintain a good status for marine waters, habitats and resources, with the ultimate target of achieving an integrated ecosystem-based approach to management. Because bioinvasions pose significant threats to marine ecosystems and the goods and services these provide, non-indigenous species (NIS) are included in the more recent legislative documents. A major challenge for the scientific community is to translate the principles of the legislative directives into a realistic, integrated ecosystem-based approach and at the same time provide stakeholders with best practices for managing NIS. The aim of this paper, prepared by members of the Working Group on Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO) of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), is to provide guidance for the application of NIS related management in the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Ten recommendations, including NIS identification, standardization of sampling and data, indicators, propagule pressure and management issues are considered in this paper. While most of these suggestions were developed to improve the implementation of the MSFD, several may be more widely applicable. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Druon J.-N.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Fromentin J.-M.,French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea | Hanke A.R.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | Arrizabalaga H.,Tecnalia | And 17 more authors.
Progress in Oceanography | Year: 2016

An ecological niche modelling (ENM) approach was used to predict the potential feeding and spawning habitats of small (5-25 kg, only feeding) and large (>25 kg) Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABFT), Thunnus thynnus, in the Mediterranean Sea, the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The ENM was built bridging knowledge on ecological traits of ABFT (e.g. temperature tolerance, mobility, feeding and spawning strategy) with patterns of selected environmental variables (chlorophyll-a fronts and concentration, sea surface current and temperature, sea surface height anomaly) that were identified using an extensive set of precisely geo-located presence data. The results highlight a wider temperature tolerance for larger fish allowing them to feed in the northern - high chlorophyll levels - latitudes up to the Norwegian Sea in the eastern Atlantic and to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the western basin. Permanent suitable feeding habitat for small ABFT was predicted to be mostly located in temperate latitudes in the North Atlantic and in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as in subtropical waters off north-west Africa, while summer potential habitat in the Gulf of Mexico was found to be unsuitable for both small and large ABFTs. Potential spawning grounds were found to occur in the Gulf of Mexico from March-April in the south-east to April-May in the north, while favourable conditions evolve in the Mediterranean Sea from mid-May in the eastern to mid-July in the western basin. Other secondary potential spawning grounds not supported by observations were predicted in the Azores area and off Morocco to Senegal during July and August when extrapolating the model settings from the Gulf of Mexico into the North Atlantic. The presence of large ABFT off Florida and the Bahamas in spring was not explained by the model as is, however the environmental variables other than the sea surface height anomaly appeared to be favourable for spawning in part of this area. Defining key spatial and temporal habitats should further help in building spatially-explicit stock assessment models, thus improving the spatial management of bluefin tuna fisheries. © 2016 The Authors.

Coll M.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Coll M.,University of British Columbia | Libralato S.,National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics - OGS | Pitcher T.J.,University of British Columbia | And 2 more authors.
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2013

The Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries developed in 1995 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations includes a set of recommendations for reducing the negative impacts of fishing activities on marine ecosystems. The Code is widely believed to be an important tool for fisheries management and, although the Code is voluntary, all stakeholders concerned with the management and development of fisheries, and conservation of fishery resources, are actively encouraged to implement it. Previous analysis at global scale showed widespread low compliance with the Code of Conduct that may be partly due to a lack of empirical support for the overall ecological benefits of adhering to the Code. Here we evaluated these ecological effects by comparing compliance with the Code to changes in five ecological indicators that quantify the ecosystem effects of fishing. We used the loss in production index and the related probability of sustainable fishing index, the mean trophic level of the catch, total catches, and the primary production required to sustain the catch. We also tested if regional differences and development status of countries influenced the results of ecological indicators. Results indicate that countries with higher levels of compliance with the FAO Code of Conduct in 2008 experienced a decrease in the Loss in Production index and an increase in fisheries sustainability from the 1990s to 2000s. We conclude that better implementation of the Code of Conduct may have had overall positive ecological effects with time. A significant decrease in total catch and primary production required with higher compliance was also observed. While a significant increase in ecosystem sustainability was observed after a decade of adoption of the Code at high levels of compliance, further ecosystem degradation had taken place where compliance with the Code was below a given threshold (4, from a ranking of 0-10). Therefore, since compliance with the Code is still low or very low worldwide, these results may encourage individual countries to adopt well-established fishery management measures in order to increase the ecological sustainability of marine resources. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Coll M.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Coll M.,Institute Of Recherche Pour Le Developpement | Carreras M.,OCEANA | Cornax M.J.,OCEANA | And 12 more authors.
Fisheries Research | Year: 2014

Underestimation of catches is especially important in countries where fishing fleets are highly diversified, the enforcement of fishery management is low, data availability is poor, and there is high demand for fish products in local markets. This is the case for southern European and Mediterranean regions. Adapting a catch-reconstruction approach, we estimated the total removals of marine resources by Spain for the Spanish Mediterranean Sea and Gulf of Cadiz regions from 1950 to 2010. We collected available information from scientific publications, the grey literature and secondary sources of information to complement officially reported catch data. We assessed missing catch sectors as time-point estimates, used as anchor points of reliable data upon which we then estimated total catch using interpolation to fill in the periods for which quantitative data were missing. Unreported removals and discards represented important portions of total removals in the study area. They accounted for, on average, 43% of total removals between 1950s and 2010, and were composed of black market sales, subsistence fishing, artisanal fishing, recreational fishing and illegal catch, in addition to discarding. By the late 2000s, recreational fishing was the most important sector for unreported landings (~36%), followed by black market sales (~32%), subsistence fishing (~17%), unreported artisanal fishing (~12%) and illegal catch (~2%). The overall catch trend differed from the official trend highlighting that the depletion of marine resources in the region started earlier than previously observed. The catch composition changed with time, with a higher diversification of species in fish markets with time. These results indicate an earlier trend towards expansion of fisheries and depletion of marine resources. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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