Assessment of the deep water trawl fishery off the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean): from single to multi-species approach
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The bottom trawl fishery developed on the slope off Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean) has been analysed from different sources of information: (i) data obtained during experimental bottom trawl surveys developed annually since 2001; (ii) daily sale bills from the bottom trawl fleet, available since 2000. Considering both hydrographical and geomorphologic conditions, the study area was divided in four geographical sectors. Multivariate techniques were applied to identify assemblages and their main species, and to investigate the influence of environmental variables in the slope communities. Fishery-independent and fishery-dependent indicators were calculated, both at specific and community level, for the assemblages identified. In all cases, they were summarised using the Traffic Light approach. Three assemblages have been identified in the slope trawl fishing grounds off the Balearic Islands: (1) the almost unexploited shelf break, where teleosts predominate; (2) the upper slope, ...