Stock overexploitation, bycatch, discards and gear impacts on the environment are outstanding issues for Mediterranean fisheries. The adoption of alternative fishing gears is an appealing solution to ensure a more sustainable exploitation of resources. We discuss the pros and cons of pots as alternative gears by reviewing their main designs, spatial distribution and target species in the Mediterranean basin. We assessed the technical factors affecting the catch efficiency of the different pot designs for four target species: spiny lobster, Palinurus elephas; Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus; common octopus, Octopus vulgaris and pandalid shrimps, Plesionika spp. We found that pot volume is important to catch Octopus; mesh size to catch Nephrops and Plesionika; entrance surface to catch Octopus, Nephrops and Plesionika; pot shape/colour and entrance shape/position to catch Octopus and Plesionika; and bait type to catch Octopus and Nephrops. The literature review shows that pot fisheries have several considerable advantages over conventional gears, especially in terms of discards, bycatch, seabed impacts (particularly compared with bottom trawls and passive set nets), size and species selectivity, gear depredation, catch quality and gear cost, besides saving time and labour. Disadvantages hampering their wider diffusion include ghost fishing, a low catch of finfish species, the narrow range of species targeted by each pot design and the current early stage of research. These data make a clear case for using pots as alternative gears to traditional ones in the Mediterranean Sea in some areas and seasons to catch certain target species.

Pots as alternative and sustainable fishing gears in the Mediterranean Sea: an overview

Petetta A.;
2021

Abstract

Stock overexploitation, bycatch, discards and gear impacts on the environment are outstanding issues for Mediterranean fisheries. The adoption of alternative fishing gears is an appealing solution to ensure a more sustainable exploitation of resources. We discuss the pros and cons of pots as alternative gears by reviewing their main designs, spatial distribution and target species in the Mediterranean basin. We assessed the technical factors affecting the catch efficiency of the different pot designs for four target species: spiny lobster, Palinurus elephas; Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus; common octopus, Octopus vulgaris and pandalid shrimps, Plesionika spp. We found that pot volume is important to catch Octopus; mesh size to catch Nephrops and Plesionika; entrance surface to catch Octopus, Nephrops and Plesionika; pot shape/colour and entrance shape/position to catch Octopus and Plesionika; and bait type to catch Octopus and Nephrops. The literature review shows that pot fisheries have several considerable advantages over conventional gears, especially in terms of discards, bycatch, seabed impacts (particularly compared with bottom trawls and passive set nets), size and species selectivity, gear depredation, catch quality and gear cost, besides saving time and labour. Disadvantages hampering their wider diffusion include ghost fishing, a low catch of finfish species, the narrow range of species targeted by each pot design and the current early stage of research. These data make a clear case for using pots as alternative gears to traditional ones in the Mediterranean Sea in some areas and seasons to catch certain target species.
Petetta A.; Virgili M.; Guicciardi S.; Lucchetti A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/863983
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