In the Mediterranean Sea, dolphinfish fishery has employed a great number of anchored Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) arranged in lines, that represents a threat to navigation and to the marine environment and is economically disadvantageous to fishers. In this research, echo-sounder buoys were tested for the first time in the Mediterranean, and it was evaluated if this technological method can be useful to studies aimed to reduce the impact of FADs from the perspective of sustainable fishery.The study was carried out in November and December 2015 in a Tyrrhenian area where echo-sounder buoys were tied to anchored and drifting FADs and aggregated biomass estimates were recorded daily. Comparisons were made to evaluate whether there are: a relation between the number of anchored FADs and associated biomass; and differences, in terms of aggregated biomass, between anchored and drifting FADs.No clear correlation was found between the number of anchored FADs and biomass, while the drifting FADs showed a greater power of attraction than the anchored FADs. Anyway, the echo-sounder buoys may be suitable for future studies. It was highlighted that their simple use in the Mediterranean FADs fishery could facilitate a reduction of the high number of anchored FADs.
Ocean & Coastal Management – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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