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Distributional pattern of rays (Pisces, Rajidae) in the Strait of Sicily in relation to fishing pressure
Garofalo, G.; Gristina, M.; Fiorentino, F.; Fulgosi, F.C.; Norrito, G.; Sinacori, G. (2003). Distributional pattern of rays (Pisces, Rajidae) in the Strait of Sicily in relation to fishing pressure. Hydrobiologia 503: 245-250
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Garofalo, G.; Gristina, M.; Fiorentino, F.; Fulgosi, F.C.; Norrito, G.; Sinacori, G. (2003). Distributional pattern of rays (Pisces, Rajidae) in the Strait of Sicily in relation to fishing pressure, in: Jones, M.B. et al. (Ed.) Migrations and Dispersal of Marine Organisms: Proceedings of the 37th European Marine Biology Symposium held in Reykjavik, Iceland, 5-9 August 2002. Developments in Hydrobiology, 174: pp. 245-250, more

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Proceedings [56467]
Document type: Conference paper

Keywords
    Abundance; Distribution; Spatial variations; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Garofalo, G.
  • Gristina, M.
  • Fiorentino, F.
  • Fulgosi, F.C.
  • Norrito, G.
  • Sinacori, G.

Abstract
    Rays are amongst the most vulnerable of exploited marine fish due to their life-history strategy (low fecundity, high age at maturity, slow growth). In this paper, we examine the distributional pattern of the thornback ray (Raja clavata Linnaeus, 1758), brown ray (Raja miraletus Linnaeus, 1758) and other species of Rajidae in the Strait of Sicily, in the context of changed fishing pressure. In the last decade, most of the Mazara del Vallo trawl fleet (one of the largest and most active in the Mediterranean) has moved southeastwards onto the African continental shelf looking for new fishing grounds. Data are provided from four scientific trawl surveys conducted over a wide area of the Strait of Sicily (covering part of the African shelf) in autumn 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001. In addition, we analysed research survey data collected along the Sicilian continental shelf between 1985 and 2002. Analysis of distributional patterns and mean catch rates, over the 4-year survey series, revealed low abundances of all ray species on the Sicilian shelf. Data also suggested a remarkable decline in ray abundance on the African shelf. However, data from 1985 to 2002 reported an increasing abundance trend of Raja clavata and Raja miraletus on the Adventure Bank, located on the southwest side of the Sicilian shelf. Analyses of trawling effort for this latter area indicated that fishing effort has decreased gradually in the last 10 years.

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