Is the Cape Roux marine protected area (Saint-Raphaël, Mediterranean Sea) an efficient tool to sustain artisanal fisheries? First indications from visual censuses and trammel net sampling

Abstract : In recent decades, marine reserves have been established either to protect ecosystem structure and biological diversity or to serve as management tools to counter the overexploitation of fish stocks. The Cape Roux marine protected area (MPA), in the Mediterranean Sea, was established in December 2003 for the management of artisanal fisheries and enhancement target fish stocks. Monitoring of littoral fish assemblages (0–30 m depth) in this zone began one year after the MPA was set up. The survey was conducted at 6 stations, located inside and outside the MPA, using three methods: underwater visual census (UVC) on transects, UVC using a new fish assemblage survey technique (FAST), and experimental net fishing performed by a fisherman. The FAST indices were derived from visual censuses, performed along a random pathway, scoring species on a presence/absence basis and size on a 2-class basis. Indices were calculated seasonally, by applying “weights” according to species and size. This study presents results obtained between October 2005 and June 2007. In the protected area, the experimental fishing yielded significantly higher abundance and species richness, and the FAST method highlighted a decrease in seasonal fluctuations. These two complementary methods (UVC and experimental fishing) revealed the early changes in fish assemblages in response to protection. The FAST method employed here seems to be relevant for the study of artisanal fishery target fishes, as a low-cost and sensitive UVC method.
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Catherine Seytre, Patrice Francour. Is the Cape Roux marine protected area (Saint-Raphaël, Mediterranean Sea) an efficient tool to sustain artisanal fisheries? First indications from visual censuses and trammel net sampling. Aquatic Living Resources, EDP Sciences, 2008, 21, pp.297-305. ⟨hal-00386302⟩

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