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Long-Term Recovery Patterns and Limited Spillover of Large Predatory Fish in a Mediterranean MPA

AuthorsGarcía-Rubies, Antoni ; Hereu, Bernat; Zabala, Mikel
Issue Date12-Sep-2013
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS ONE 8(9) : e73922 (2013)
AbstractBased on 19 y of visual census data from the Medes Islands MPA (NW Mediterranean), this study analyzes the carrying capacity (K) and population recovery time of six species of fish strongly affected by harvesting pressure along the Mediterranean coast. Three of these species (Epinephelus marginatus, Diplodus cervinus and Dicentrachus labrax) have practically reached carrying capacity in the Medes Islands MPA, while others are still approaching population stabilization (Sciaena umbra) or are still increasing in biomass (Dentex dentex). The one exception to these trends is S. aurata, which tended to decrease inside the MPA, probably due to fishing just outside its borders. These results confirm that fish populations may require decadal time scales to recover from exploitation, both in terms of total abundance (21 to 29 y to exceed 95% K) as well as total biomass (25 to 35 y), and that rates of recovery differ between species (13 to 31 y). The recovery and saturation observed within the no-take zone contrasts with results obtained in the partially protected buffer area and the peripheral area open for fishing, which show much lower biomass values. In general, the spillover from the MPA is very moderate, and its effects extend only to the partially protected area.
Description10 páginas, 4 figuras, 2 tablas, 1 apéndice.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073922
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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