Study

Changes in spawning-stock structure and recruitment pattern of red mullet, Mullus barbatus, after a trawl ban in the Gulf of Castellammare (central Mediterranean Sea)

  • Published source details Fiorentino F., Badalamenti F., D’Anna G., Garofalo G., Gianguzza P., Gristina M., Pipitone C., Rizzo P. & Fortibuoni T. (2008) Changes in spawning-stock structure and recruitment pattern of red mullet, Mullus barbatus, after a trawl ban in the Gulf of Castellammare (central Mediterranean Sea). ICES Journal of Marine Science, 65, 1175-1183.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit mobile fishing gears that catch bottom (demersal) species and are dragged across the seafloor

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit mobile fishing gears that catch bottom (demersal) species and are dragged across the seafloor

    A before-and-after study in 1985–2005 of muddy and sandy-mud seabed in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily (Fiorentino et al. 2008) found that after the closure of an area to all towed bottom fishing gears for 14 years, adult (spawning-stock) red mullet Mullus barbatus had a higher biomass, were larger at two of three depths and recruitment of young mullet increased, compared to before the closure. Biomass of adult red mullet was higher at all depths after the ban (750–4,200 g/haul) compared to before (170–650 g/haul). Average total length of all adult red mullet was higher after the closure at the two depths >50 m, and similar at depths <50 m (data reported as statistical model results). In addition, the number of small fish surviving to reach a larger (fishable) size (i.e. recruitment to the fishery) increased after the closure, and there were several recruitment events recorded throughout the year compared to only one before the closure. In 1990, an area of 200 km2 in the Gulf of Castellammare was closed to trawl nets and all other bottom-towed fishing gear (non-towed bottom gears and pelagic gears permitted). Red mullet data for the periods before (1985–1986) and after (2004–2005) the closure were obtained from 35 experimental trawl survey deployments at three depth ranges (10–50, 51–100 and 101–200 m).

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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