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Managing recreational fisheries through gear restrictions: The case of limiting hook size in the recreational fishery from the Balearic Islands (NW Mediterranean)

AuthorsCerdà, Margalida; Alós, Josep ; Palmer, Miquel ; Grau, Antoni Maria; Riera, Francisco
KeywordsHooksize selectivity
Natural resources
Mediterranean Sea
Recreational angling
Issue Date15-Jan-2010
CitationFisheries Research 101(3): 146–155 (2010)
AbstractEnforcing a minimum legal fish size is a possible policy rule for managingrecreationalfisheries. However, success of such rules highly depends on an effective reduction of a mortality of released under-sized individuals. A very high post-release mortality is currently observed for certain species, which cancels any benefit of fish size limitation. Here we explore the effectiveness of limiting both gear characteristics and fish size. This management approach is aimed at biasing catches toward legal-sized individuals and minimizing the catches of under-sized fish. Specifically, size selection of fishes induced by hooksize was evaluated for the near-shore boat recreationalfishery from the BalearicIslands (NWMediterranean). First, we evaluated the effects of different hooksizes on catch (number of individuals and species composition) and yield (biomass). Results showed how the number of captures was significantly reduced when using large hooks but bigger specimens and more valued species were caught. Moreover, the total yield remained unchanged, and the incidence of under-sized fish was significantly reduced. Second, the comparison of selectivity curves (i.e., logistic curves relating fish size and probability of being fished) corresponding to different hooksizes showed differences between two groups of species: those with small-mouth area, such as Coris julis or Diplodus annularis and those with larger mouth areas like Serranus scriba. Small-mouth species tend to display larger selectivity: the curves for each hooksize are steeper, and there is more of a split between the curves. The results presented here motivated the authority in charge of managing the recreationalfishery at the BalearicIsland to stipulate a minimum legal hooksize. The trade-offs of this rule between angler interest and conservation goals are discussed.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2009.09.016
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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