Case study 3 - Artisanal fisheries

This case study includes three examples of artisanal deep-water fisheries.

  • Fishery for vulnerable stock: red (blackspot) seabream ( Pagellus bogaraveo) in the Gibraltar Strait and Bay of Biscay– Coordinator: IEO (Spain) 
  • Fishery for vulnerable stock: red (blackspot) seabream ( Pagellus bogaraveo) in the eastern Mediterranean– Coordinator: HCMR (Greece) 
  • Fishery for less vulnerable stock: Portuguese fishery for black scabbardfish ( Aphanopus carbo) in IX Coordinator: IPIMAR (Portugal) 

The first component is carried out by Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO) with assistance from IFREMER. The case study will focus on the red (blackspot) seabream ( Pagellus bogaraveo) fishery in the Strait of Gibraltar area. Landings in Sub-areas VI, VII and VIII (from Spain, Portugal, France and UK) were very high in the past, with a peak in the early 1970s to more than 15 000 t per year, and decreased to a low level from 1975 to 1985. The stock has remained at a low level since then. More recently, since 1982 onwards, a longline fishery has developed in the Strait of Gibraltar. This has a high social and economic importance. The historical development of the Strait of Gibraltar and Bay of Biscay fisheries and the main characteristics of fleets currently involved will be described.

The second Case study component will address the same species (red blackspot seabream) in the The eastern Mediterranean. The fishery is a small-scale fishery exercised in the Hellenic waters mainly using long-lines and gill nets. Commercial trawlers, which operate in shallower waters, catch mostly juveniles that are discarded. This small-scale fishery started in the early 1980s with long-lines. In 1996, gill nets started to be used also. In the early years of the fishery, the catches were quite high, but very quickly they declined considerably; the main reasons for this were attributed to over-fishing, the introduction of gill nets, the recreational fishery and to ghost fishing. Landings data from the National Statistical Services have also shown a declining trend implying the need for management measures to take into account the protandrous hermaphroditism of the species.

The third component is carried out by IPIMAR. The fishery for black scabbardfish ( Aphanopus carbo, Lowe 1839) in ICES area IX was initiated in the early 1980’s on the slopes near Sesimbra landing port (south of Lisbon – mainland Portugal). The fleet was composed by small longliners (total length below 20 m), which used a fishing method and gear modified from the traditional Madeira longline fishery. At present, fishing still exhibits artisanal features and occurs in particular areas where individual vessels have their own fishing grounds. Although little objective information is available on the stock structure and dynamics of the species, a single stock in the NE Atlantic area has been hypothesized. However due to the different exploitation patterns and fleets, a northern component, which includes subarea Vb and areas VI, VII and XII, and a southern component, which includes areas VIII and IX are considered for assessment and management purposes. In both components C. coelolepis and C. squamosus are the two most important by-catch species.