Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Protocol, results & recommendations TO Assess BIOMass EXport from marine protected areas and its impacts on fisheries in the western Mediterranean Sea

Evidence of biomass export from MPAs may be obtained by two means:
- Detecting a progressive increase over time of the mean density and biomass of target species in the MPA and in areas surrounding MPAs (which takes >10 years), or
- Detecting a gradient of abundance and mean size of target species across the reserve boundaries.

We follow the latter method, based solely on spatial sampling designs and develop :
- Protocol established for estimating the gradient of abundance and biomass of target species across the boundaries of MPAs using fish visual censuses.
- Protocol established for estimating the gradient of abundance and biomass of target species across the boundaries of MPAs using video surveys.
- Protocol established for estimating the production of eggs and larvae using a plankton survey within, and for describing the oceanography of the local region surrounding selected MPAs.
- Protocol established for estimating the gradient of abundance and biomass of target species across the boundaries of MPAs using experimental fishing.
- Protocol established for estimating fishing yields and economic value of commercial fishing within and around MPAs.

After analysis of results, we have defined some ecological bounds and appropriate geographical framework for management, determined the scientific tools and explained methods for the monitoring of fish populations.

With those protocols and guideline for management, We have made some Recommendations for the use of MPA s as fisheries management tools targeted to decision-makers.

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