Gradients of abundance of sea breams across the boundaries of a Mediterranean marine protected area

  • Published source details La Mesa G., Molinari A., Bava S., Finoia M.G., Cattaneo-Vietti R. & Tunesi L. (2011) Gradients of abundance of sea breams across the boundaries of a Mediterranean marine protected area. Fisheries Research, 111, 24-30.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Control human activity in a marine protected area with a zonation system of restrictions

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Control human activity in a marine protected area with a zonation system of restrictions

    A site comparison study in 2004–2005 of four rocky reef areas in the Ligurian Sea, Italy (La Mesa et al. 2011) found that length, biomass and density of three seabream Diplodus species was greater in a three year old marine protected area split into three fishing management zones, compared to adjacent unprotected fished areas, and differences between zones varied with sampling season (length) and level of restrictions (biomass and density). The average seabream length was greater in all three zones of the protected area than outside (inside: 12–24 cm, outside: 8–13 cm), however differences between the protected zones varied with sampling season. The density and biomass of sharpsnout seabream Diplodus puntazzo varied between protected zones and was higher overall than outside the protected area (results reported as statistical analysis). White seabream Diplodus sargus density and biomass was higher inside compared to outside, except in the management zone with intermediate protection where only biomass was higher and was affected by zone and sampling time. The biomass, but not density, of common two-banded seabream Diplodus vulgaris differed between protected zones and was higher in the two management zones with a greater level of protection compared to outside. The Portofino marine protected area (346 ha) was established in 1999, with protection enforced in 2001. Three levels of management protection were in place: a no-entry, no-take zone, a zone permitted only for local traditional commercial and recreational fishers (see paper for specified gears), and a zone where, in addition, non-resident shore fishing with hook and line is permitted. Fish were sampled by underwater visual census (25 × 5 m transects) in November 2004 and 2005 at two sites in each management zone of the protected area and at six sites in unprotected areas.

    (Summarised by: Khatija Alliji)

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