Perish legally and ecologically: the ineffectiveness of the minimum landing sizes in the Mediterranean Sea

  • Published source details Stergiou K.I., Moutopoulos D.K. & Armenis G. (2009) Perish legally and ecologically: the ineffectiveness of the minimum landing sizes in the Mediterranean Sea. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 16, 368-375.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Set a minimum landing size for commercially fished species

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Set a minimum landing size for commercially fished species

    A replicated study in 2004–2005 of fishing grounds in the Ionian Sea, Greece (Stergiou et al. 2009) found that the minimum landing sizes set for 13 fish species were smaller than their estimated lengths of maturity and in commercial landings over 50% of fish were immature, indicating that minimum sizes did not prevent most fish from being caught before they had a chance to spawn even once. These results were not tested statistically. For 13 fish species, the minimum landing sizes (total length) in use were between 2–38 cm smaller than the estimated size at which 50% of fish of a given species become mature (see paper for species individual data). The average percentage of immature individuals landed (smaller than the 50% maturity size) was greater than half of the catch for all gear types (55–92%). In addition, the average percentage of fish landed with lengths smaller than the minimum size varied between gear types and the overall average (all species) ranged from 6% (longlines) to 43% (beach seines). Data were collected from the landings of 22 vessels fishing out of Zakynthos Island between July 2004–2005. Total length of all fish was measured from landings by five gear types: trawls (11 trips), purse seines (27 trips), beach seines (3 trips), trammel nets (111 trips) and longlines (34 trips).

    (Summarised by: Rosslyn McIntyre)

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