Spatial assessment and impact of artisanal fisheries activity in Cap de Creus

North western Mediterranean is characterized to present a high fishing activity and consequently, the awareness to preserve and protect high ecological important areas has been recently on the scope. The region of Cap de Creus is lately being subjected of study in order to assess its values in the frame of the Habitat Directive and Natura 2000 Network, as the 1LIFE+Indemares Project. By combining existing data of artisanal fisheries components together with gathered substrate type and seabed composition, a spatial distribution of fishing activity is pretended. The spatial approach of the diverse fishing types acting in this area has been the main tool when assessing the consistency of fishing pressure onto the seabed. Benthic communities seem to be more affected when the confluence in space of two or more fishing types occur. Consequently, alternating parceling and seasonal closures among the main fishing gear types, in order to minimize the impact onto benthic communities as also setting no-take zones is strongly suggested. The establishment of a MPA in the near future has to be seen for all stakeholders as one step contributing to an efficient sustainability of the ecosystem, once the potential impact of this fishing activity has been shown. Mid-scale benefits by means of reducing fishing pressure in the area will enhance both alternative income solutions and spillover offset as a result of habitat recovery. Keywords: mtier, GIS, fishing spatial activity, MPA, fisheries management, Cap de Creus

ISCED Categories

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0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0521 - Ecology", "0831 - Fisheries