|Exploitation status and stock assessment by pseudo-cohort analysis of the bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix, in the Gulf of Gabes (Tunisia)|
|Dhieb, K.; Ghorbel, M.; Jarboui, O.; Bouain, A. (2007). Exploitation status and stock assessment by pseudo-cohort analysis of the bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix, in the Gulf of Gabes (Tunisia). J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 87(5): 1315-1319. dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315407056226|
|In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Plymouth. ISSN 0025-3154, more|
The bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix, is quite abundant in the Gulf of Gabes, off the south-eastern coast of Tunisia. It is commercially exploited by artisanal gears and trawlers all year round, and by purse seine nets from May to August (bluefish fishery season). Catches of bluefish, in the period 1996-2004 fluctuated between 365.6 t and 1240.1 t with an annual average of 805 t. This fluctuation, partially due to the migratory nature of the species, could be also attributed to the fleet activities that sometimes changed at the mercy of the operators. The analysis of the virtual population of bluefish in the Gulf of Gabes showed that, in 2002, the stock that had just recovered rightly after an excessive fishing in 1996-1997 was again subject to a fishing effort that passed its capacity (E=0.71; E>0.5). The biomass (B) estimated to be ~2178.9 t only tolerated the extraction of 713.4 t (more or less one-third of B). However, the three fleets in use removed 1029.1 t with a yield per recruit (Y/R) of 70.5 g. As a result of this over-fishing, the actual stock of bluefish in the Gulf of Gabes was characterized by individuals having a mean total length of 17.88 cm, a size which is much lower than the one at first sexual maturity (23.5 cm). The turnover (D/B) being of 75.23%, it did not allow the reconstitution of the stock. The total removals (~1639 t) due to both natural mortality (M=0.28) and fishing mortality (F=0.675) had to be compensated especially by individual growth (1534.2 t; 93.6%) because of the low weight of the recruits.