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IEO assesses Menorca emblematic lobster fishery
2016-11-30 10:14:54 copyfrom： hits:
Measurement of a lobster caught during the research surveys. (Photo: IEO)
Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 22:50 (GMT + 9)
Researchers from the Balearic Oceanographic Centre of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) have carried out several summer surveys in Menorca to study the spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas) fishery and its larval ecology in order to provide scientific advice for its management.
These surveys, carried out on board IEO oceanographic vessel Francisco de Paula Navarro and on board fishing vessels of the artisanal fleet, have aimed, on the one hand, at the installation of three stations of bottom larvae collectors of Menorca and, on the other, at evaluating the costs and benefits of reducing the set time of trammel nets directed to the lobster.
Firstly, with the installation of collectors, consisting of artificial concrete structures with appropriate shelters for lobster larvae to settle, the scientists will calculate the annual larval settlement index and start a time series with which, in the future, it will be possible to make predictions of lobster catches for 3-4 years, a resource of great importance for the artisanal fleet of Menorca.
The predictive capacity of future catches will allow the administration to recommend, from a scientific basis, the fishing activity in order to make the resource sustainable so that the fishery does not collapse.
On the other hand, the set time experiments aim to improve the exploitation pattern of the species by reducing the capture of unwanted species, as well as by minimizing the economic losses of species having commercial interest that are decomposed by being more than 24 hours retained in the net.
These surveys are part of the MENLAN project, led by the researcher of IEO Balearic Oceanographic Centre Raquel Goñi, and a cooperation agreement signed between the Insular Council of Menorca and the IEO.
MENLAN objective is to help lay the foundations for adaptive management of the lobster fishery in Menorca, the most emblematic and economically profitable species on the island.
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