Knowing the past to improve the future: Estimating historical fishing catches to improve fisheries management in the Western Mediterranean Sea
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AuthorsCarreras, M. (Marta); Coll, M. (Marta); Quetglas, A. (Antoni); Goñi, R. (Raquel); Pastor, X. (Xavier); Cornax, M.J. (María José); Iglesias, M. (Magdalena); Massutí, E. (Enric); Oliver, P. (Pere); Aguilar, R. (Ricardo); Au, A. (Andrea); Zylich, K. (Kyrstn); Pauly, D. (Daniel)
We developed for the first time the commercial fishing catches reconstruction of the Balearic Islands (Western Mediterranean) between 1950 and 2010, by adding non-reported components, including unreported landings and discards, to the official reported landing data. To back‑estimate historical unreported landings and discards, collaboration and information acquired from fishermen were essential, as gathered through interviews and observer programs of the Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO) on board commercial bottom trawling fleet. We estimated a total catch of 511,500 t over the period 1950‑2010, of which official landings represented 49% (around 248,000 t), followed by unreported catches (32%) and discards (20%). A decrease in unreported catches was observed during the period 1950-2010 (from 58% to 38%) due to a reduction of unreported landings, but substantial efforts are still required to improve the recordings of actual fishing catches. This work contributes to the global assessment ...
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