Minimising discards while taking revenue into account : spatio-temporal assessment of catches in an artisanal shrimp trawl fishery in Peru
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Around 4.2 million tonnes of fish and other species, some of which are of conservation concern, are discarded every year in bottom trawl fisheries. This study focusses on a small-scale shrimp trawl fishery located in northern Peru that operates with high level of discards which causes conflict with other local fishers. Despite trawling being an illegal activity within the 5NM off the coast, this fishery has been operating in these inshore areas for over 40 years because it sustains the well-being of hundreds of fishers. This study aimed to identify the factors that affect the spatio-temporal variation in catches in order to propose recommendations that can be adopted by fishers to minimise their impact on the ecosystem while still providing economic opportunities. The spatial distributions of shrimp, main commercial species and discards were modelled over time using hierarchical generalised additive models. Strong spatio-temporal variation was observed for all catch components and moon phase affected commercial species and discards differently. The results show that, to reduce the environmental impacts of this fishery in the short-term, the fishing area could be divided into north and south and that fishing activities should be limited to the southern area in the autumn. Other recommendations rely on temporal closures during the week of the first quarter of the moon phase. Finally, considering the institutional weaknesses in monitoring, control and surveillance, we suggest that the only realistic approach to reduce the fishery's environmental impacts in the short-term is to foster the willingness of fishers to adopt responsible fishing practices. Yet, long-term solutions will require comprehensive co-management efforts.
Mendo , T , Ransijn , J , Gomez , I , Gozzer-Wuest , R , Paradinas , I , James , M A & Mendo , J 2023 , ' Minimising discards while taking revenue into account : spatio-temporal assessment of catches in an artisanal shrimp trawl fishery in Peru ' , Fisheries Research , vol. 261 , 106623 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2023.106623
DescriptionFunding: Newton Fund (414695818); University of St Andrews Impact and Innovation 2021; Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico Tecno 2018-222.
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