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Assessment and bioeconomic analysis of the Majorca (NW Mediterranean) trammel net fishery

  • Gorka Merino (a1), Beatriz Morales-Nin (a2), Francesc Maynou (a1) and Antoni Maria Grau (a3)

Abstract

Trammel net is the main fishing gear used by artisanal fishers in Majorca Island (NW Mediterranean), and is representative of Mediterranean small-scale fisheries using static gear. The use of static gears close to the coast, where seasonal variability and spatial heterogeneity are high, promotes the diversification of fishing practices or metiers. We analyze the seasonal dynamics of the nets used, target species (red and black scorpionfish, red mullet and cuttlefish) exploitation patterns and the socio-economic conditions under which this fishery takes place, based on General Fisheries Directorate daily sale records (2002–2006). Additional personal socioeconomic interviews allowed the characterization of the trammel net fishery, its fishing behaviour, cost structure and conflicts. Catch and effort data and market surveys are used to evaluate the level of exploitation of the target species and allowed describing Majorca trammel net fishery as an activity based on a sustainable resource. The main target species were found to be near their maximum sustainable yield both by means of a surplus production model (with parameters estimated by CEDA-Catch Effort Data Analysis, software) and an age structured assessment model based on yield-per-recruit analysis. Management actions currently debated by local administration and fishers focus on improving fishers' economic situation, rather than on protecting a threatened resource. One of the management actions proposed is a one day effort reduction, which was analyzed here with the help of a bioeconomic simulation model. A 15-year (2005–2020) simulation allows providing advice to local managers to focus on the commercialization aspects, in order to obtain a higher value to the fish production, rather than expecting to obtain higher profits only by a reduction of the offer.

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