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Influence of Environmental Variables and Fishing Pressure on Bivalve Fisheries in an Inshore Lagoon and Adjacent Nearshore Coastal Area

July 11, 2013

Climate changes affect marine ecosystems and the survival, growth, reproduction and distribution of species, including those targeted by commercial fisheries. The impact of climate change has been reported for many fish species, but studies focusing on the effects of climate on bivalve resources are lacking. In Portugal, the harvesting of bivalves is an old and artisanal activity, of special importance along the Algarve coast (South of Portugal). This study aims to evaluate the influence of climatic, environmental and fisheries factors on the landings of intertidal coastal lagoon and coastal bivalve species (subtidal nearshore species). The environmental and fisheries parameters considered to affect the landings of bivalves in the eastern Algarve were: fishing effort (number of fishing events), sea surface temperature, North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, upwelling index, wind magnitude and direction and river discharges. Analysis of time series data using min/max autocorrelation factor analysis and dynamic factor analysis showed that, for most species, fishing effort was positively related with landings per unit effort trends in the following year. Lagoon bivalve species (Cerastoderma edule and Ruditapes decussatus) responded to different environmental variables than the coastal bivalve species (Chamelea gallina, Pharus legumen, Donax spp. and Spisula solida). Upwelling index had a significant effect on the lagoon bivalves while the NAO index, wind magnitude and direction, and river discharges only affected the coastal species. This study highlighted the need to adapt fishing effort regimes, while considering the background effects of environmental variability, in order to improve fisheries management

Vânia B, Ullah H, Teixeira C M, Range P, Erzini K, Leitâo F, 2013, Influence of Environmental Variables and Fishing Pressure on Bivalve Fisheries in an Inshore Lagoon and Adjacent Nearshore Coastal Area, Estuaries and Coasts, 2013, doi:10.1007/s12237-013-9658-4. Article.

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