Potential effects of bycatch from the squat lobster fisheries in central Chile on the benthic ecosystem: A survey data approach

José T. Montero, Andres Flores, DANTE QUEIROLO PALMA, Ariel Farias, Rodrigo Wiff, Mauricio Lima, Carla Rivera-Rebella, Mauricio Ahumada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In Chile, bottom trawling for squat lobsters is one of the most important crustacean fisheries. The fishery has been monitored for the past 15 years to assess the resource status, spatial distribution and effects on benthic species. Understanding the interactions of fishing and non-fishing activities with the benthic communities is of critical importance to estimate the potential bycatch of important economic species from fishing operations and to determine adequate spatial and temporal fishing bans. In this study we characterised the community of the main non-target species caught during historical squat lobster biomass surveys from 2000 to 2015 and interpreted the species included as potential bycatch of the fishery. Four ecological assemblages were found that differed in abundance but not in species richness, which suggests that the community structures did not differ among the areas, but rather in the relative abundances of the species. In addition, we created habitat suitability maps for the groups identified and discuss the effects of the environment and the survey method on the distribution of the groups. Managers can use this information to detect regions with high bycatch risk for demersal trawl fisheries and understand the potential interaction of fishing operations with the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1293
Number of pages13
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
Volume71
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • boosted regression trees
  • Cervimunida johni
  • Pleuroncodes monodon
  • spatial modelling

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