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Landing profiles and typologies of flatfish fisheries on the Portuguese coast

  • Célia M. Teixeira, Marisa I. Batista and Henrique N. Cabral

Abstract

Flatfishes represent an important resource in Portuguese fisheries. Although flatfish landings represent a low percentage of total fish weight landed, their importance is higher when commercial value is considered (11%). Official data on flatfish landings from 1992 to 2005 for all landing ports in Portugal were analysed, together with vessel characteristics, in order to detect patterns in flatfish fisheries. Fleet characteristics were heterogeneous, but most of the vessels were multi-gear. Three landing profiles were identified in the flatfish fishery, and the target species of these métiers showed variation in space and in time. Small vessels caught species that occur in coastal areas, mainly soles, bastard sole, flounder, turbot and brill, and usually also presented high landings of octopuses, cuttlefish and rays. Megrims and spotted flounder were caught with others species, like small pelagic fishes and seabreams by coastal trawlers. For this fleet component, catches of flatfish were usually bycatch. Generalized Linear Models (GLM) were used to analyse flatfish landings (LPUE, landings per unit effort and landings in terms of value) between 1992 and 2005 and to evaluate their relationships with several variables. The main effects in the models included year, month, landing port, vessel length class and total landings (kg). The models explained between 15% and 60% of the variability of the LPUE, and 46% to 82% of the variability of landing value, for the flatfish groups considered, with the most important factors being landing port, vessel length class, month, total landing (kg) and landing port: vessel length interaction. These results suggest high spatial and temporal variability. The results of this study may have implications for fishery management, because the LPUE was highest during the important periods of flatfish life cycles, like the spawning season. This fishing pattern has a negative impact on the stocks because of increased fishing pressure during a sensitive period for these species. The adoption of spatial and temporal closures should be implemented.

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a Corresponding author: cmteixeira@fc.ul.pt

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Supplementary tables are available in electronic form at http://www.alr-journal.org

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References

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Landing profiles and typologies of flatfish fisheries on the Portuguese coast

  • Célia M. Teixeira, Marisa I. Batista and Henrique N. Cabral

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