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Simulating escapes of farmed sea bass from Mediterranean open sea-cages: low recaptures by local fishermen

November 27, 2013

During the past years, farmed European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax (Linnaeus, 1758) escapees have been recorded around farms in different areas (for a review see Sanchez-Jerez et al., 2011). However, there is a lack of knowledge about their dispersal and survival capabilities. A previous study on escaped sea bass from Mediterranean farms demonstrated their ability to survive for up to 3 weeks in the wild, moving quickly and repeatedly between and among several farms (Arechavala-Lopez et al., 2011), suggesting a risk of pathogen transmissions to nearby farmed and wild fish stocks (Arechavala-Lopez et al., 2011, 2013). Escaped sea bass could also lead to other potential ecological risks through predation and resource competition with wild populations, as already reported for escaped sea bream (Arechavala-Lopez et al., 2012). The aim of this study was therefore to provide detailed evidence of whether sea bass escapees are long- or short-lived, as well as to assess the habitat use and feeding habits of externally-tagged sea bass recaptures by local fishermen, following simulated escapes from open-sea cages in the Mediterranean Sea.

Arechavala-Lopez P, Izquierdo-Gomez D, Sanchez-Jerez P, Bayle-Sempere J T, Simulating escapes of farmed sea bass from Mediterranean open sea-cages: low recaptures by local fishermen, Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 2013, doi:10.1111/jai.12357. Article.

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