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Assessing the risk of vulnerable species exposure to deepwater trawl fisheries: the case of orange roughy Hoplostethus atlanticus to the west of Ireland and Britain

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 December 2013

Leonie Dransfeld*
Affiliation:
Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Co. Galway, Ireland
Hans D. Gerritsen
Affiliation:
Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Co. Galway, Ireland
Nils R. Hareide
Affiliation:
Runde Environmental Centre, 6096 Runde, Norway
Pascal Lorance
Affiliation:
IFREMER, rue de l’Île d’Yeu, B.P. 21105, 44311 Nantes Cedex 03, France
*
a Corresponding author: leonie.dransfeld@marine.ie
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Abstract

With slow growth rates, late maturity and a high maximum age of 100 years or more, orange roughy can be classified as a vulnerable deepwater fish species that can only sustain low rates of exploitation. Historical patterns of exploitation associated with this species suggest that it is currently not possible to manage its fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic sustainably, and the total allowable catch for orange roughy has been gradually reduced to zero for European fisheries since 2010. Orange roughy to the west of Ireland and Britain occurs on distinct bathymetric features (seamounts, hills and canyons) as well as on flat ground along the continental slope. Productivity-susceptibility analysis (PSA) was performed to evaluate the biological vulnerability of orange roughy in relation to other deepwater species and the risk that recent and current fisheries pose to its populations in the study area. Time-dependant PSA, based on the spatial overlap between orange roughy distribution and recent and current deepwater fisheries demonstrated a strong reduction in risk over time when fisheries stopped directed targeting practices and continued with mixed deepwater trawl fisheries. Some spatial overlap between the species and current fisheries remains, and while the method can show relative risk reduction, it cannot provide information on whether the risk is low enough to allow the recovery of depleted populations.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD 2013

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