New Master Thesis!
Quantifying the short-term impact of recreational fishing in the sandy multi-specific fish community of the Mediterranean: a before-after-control-impact (BACI) design using fishery-independent monitoring
Commercial fisheries effects are extensively studied but recreational fisheries are less known. In this work we study the case of pearly razorfish, “raor”, Xyrichthys novacula, and the community associated (Balistes carolinensis, Bothus podas, Pagellus erythrinus, etc…). This community inhabits most soft bottoms of the Mediterranean and their species are targeted by the recreational fishers. A seasonal closure of recreational fishing on Xyrichthys novacula (1/04 a 31/08) is currently enforced at the Balearic Islands. This fish community has been sampled before and after the opening of the seasonal closure in order to evaluate the effects of recreational fishing. The experiment design consisted in a replicated BACI (before-and-after-control-impact) approach. The fishing effort was quantified through visual censuses of recreational boats. The results presented here are especially relevant because they were obtained using fisheries-independent data (underwater baited video). The abundance of X. novacula decreased up to 38.8% after the opening of the seasonal closure, in comparison with the abundance at a control area (no-take marine reserve). The fish community associated with the pearly razorfish showed species-specific trends after the end of the seasonal closure.