Mediterranean coastal lagoons are among the most productive of marine ecosystems but, at the same time, they are strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures that could alter their fisheries. This work looks at how the Mar Menor coastal lagoon fishery evolved from the eighteenth century to 2012, and provides data about landings, effort and gears. The relationships between fishing yields and the environmental consequences of the most important human activities in the lagoon (including the dredging and widening of inlets in the last two centuries and eutrophication episodes in the 1990s) are examined using uni- and multi-variate analysis. While mean total yield tended to remain constant, significant changes in the specific composition of the catch and in the dominance of the main target species have occurred. The lagoon seems to have the ability to support a wide range of pressures and environmental changes, since it has been seen to recover each time from specific human impacts, maintaining the fishery yields close to the total maximum sustainable yield. However, other factors, like climate change or the spread of aquaculture exploitations, may have overlapping effects, introducing long term trends in the fisheries concerned.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 9, 2015
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