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ID, Objectives, Achievements & Funding

 
Lab Fisheries, Biodiversity and Conservation
Principal Investigator Karim Erzini
E-mail kerzini@ualg.pt  
Location of Group CCMAR (Faro)
Keywords Fisheries, Biodiversity, Conservation, Management
  • Objectives

Fishing and fishing related activities are of considerable importance in the Algarve (southern Portugal), which is the Portuguese region with the highest percentage of the working population directly or indirectly involved in fisheries. The main objectives of the group are to contribute to the improved management and sustainable exploitation of the multi-species resources of the Algarve coastal waters. In recent years, the fisheries sector has been under considerable pressure, with a decline in landings of many of the most important species. Within this context, the main objectives of the group are to contribute to the improved management and sustainable exploitation of the multi-species resources of the Algarve coastal waters. Specific objectives include:

• Studying the impact of commercial fishing activity and the implications for biodiversity: species and size selectivity of different gears, quantification of the by-catch and discards of different gears, and evaluation of ghost fishing;

• Studying the impact of recreational fishing activity;

• Finding ways to mitigate by-catch, discarding and to propose management measures and changes in legislation based on the above mentioned studies;

• Biology, population dynamics, and ecology of fish and invertebrates: growth and mortality parameters, maturity and reproduction, feeding ecology;

• Identification of essential fish habitat, by classification of the bottom, mapping of the biodiversity and distribution and abundance of key species;

• Long-term monitoring of key habitats and recruitment of fish and invertebrates;

• Understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of key commercial species by means of tagging and telemetry studies;

• Modeling and simulation studies for spatio-temporal dynamics, eco-trophic modeling, evaluating the effects of different management measures, and understanding the influence of environmental and fisheries factors.

  • Main Achievements

A full inventory of the biodiversity associated with fisheries in the Algarve has been completed, resulting in a book published in 2007. A significant part of the Algarve coast to a depth of 30m has been mapped, with classification of the bottom and identification of fish, invertebrates and algae (1137 species, including new species and new records for Portugal and Europe), and data implemented in a Geographic Information System (GIS).

With a project on purse seines finalised, the group has now completed a series of projects spanning a period of more than 10 years on the impacts in terms of by-catches and discarding, species and size selectivity of all the main gears used in the Algarve. For some gears (deepwater hake longline and demersal purse seine), gear modifications for the reduction by-catch have been successfully tested, with the collaboration of commercial fishermen.

The biology, population dynamics and ecology of a number of species of fish, cephalopods and crustaceans have been studied, namely commercially important sea breams (Sparidae), deepwater sharks, octopus and Norway lobster. Estimated parameters have been used in stock assessments for some species and for simulation based studies to evaluate different management measures.

A project on recreational / sport fishing was completed, resulting in the first estimates of the impacts (total catches, species composition, catch rates, sizes of fish) of this activity in the south of Portugal.

Acoustic telemetry has been used to study the spatio-temporal dynamics of sea bream species within the Ria Formosa, and to evaluate the artificial reef use by wild and cultured (restocked) sea breams.

Annual monitoring of key nursery habitats (Ria Formosa lagoon - since 2001 and Arade river estuary - since 2003) has been carried out. These time series will provide important information on recruitment variability and will be useful for evaluating climate change effects.

  • Funding

Total of 20 projects in 2002-2007 (7 international, 13 national, 15 co-ordinations), with total funding for the group of 1.612.328 EUR (not counting pluriannual funding and not counting funding from the Ocean Tracking Network, which is still being negotiated).


BIOMARES, EU LIFE /Secil, 254.388 EUR;

OTN , Canada Foundation for Innovation, being negotiated;

RENSUB III, CCDR Algarve, 103.279 EUR;

PROMOPESCA, INTERREG IIIA, 53.333 EUR;

SPORTFISH, FCT, 76.500 EUR;

TELEMETRIA, FCT, 86.500 EUR;

RENSUB II, CCDR Algarve, 123.458 EUR;

BIOPESCAS, MARE, DGPA, 246.052 EUR;

GESTPESCA II, INTERREG IIIA, 26.666 EUR;

RENSUB I, CCDR Algarve, 85.702 EUR;

ARADE, DGPA - MARE , 139.946 EUR;

POLVARTE, MARE, DGPA, 105.053 EUR;

GESTPESCA I, INTERREG IIIA, 52.500 EUR;

BRD, FCT, 73.001 EUR;

CEPHSTOCK, EC DG XII, 27.600 EUR;

CORRAM, FCT, 10.500 EUR;

STRESS , EU DG Research, 27.830 EUR;

LOBASSESS, FCT, 9.300 EUR;

SAGRES, FCT, 50.000 EUR;

SURVIVAL, FCT, 60.720 EUR.
 

 

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