A HEALTHY APPROACH TO HEALTHY FOOD FROM THE HEALTHY SEA: EVALUATION OF FISH ORIGINATING FROM THE PROTECTED AREA

A HEALTHY APPROACH TO HEALTHY FOOD FROM THE HEALTHY SEA: EVALUATION OF FISH ORIGINATING FROM THE PROTECTED AREADownload file(Article is in Croatian)original scientific paper
A HEALTHY APPROACH TO HEALTHY FOOD FROM THE HEALTHY SEA: EVALUATION OF FISH ORIGINATING FROM THE PROTECTED AREAMatić-Skoko, S., Stagličić, N., Pallaoro, A., Vrbatović, A., Bušelić, I.Keywords:
lastovo archipelagofishing activitiesconservation effectivenesshealthy product

Volume: 70
Issue: Supplement 1
Pages: 39 - 52

Summary

The Lastovo Archipelago Nature Park (NP) adopted a special fishing protocol in conformity with its Code of Conduct. The present study analyses the littoral fisheries resources of the NP and compares them to baseline data from 2010 to evaluate possible changes produced by the proclaimed fisheries management. Littoral fisheries resources were sampled by experimental trammel net. Analyses were performed on total fish abundance and biomass, diversity indices and multivariate abundance and biomass structure of caught assemblages. Although no significant difference in the catches was found regarding average species richness, total abundance and biomass, there appears to be a weak indication of change. Namely, an inclining trend was observed at protected zones (14% higher species richness, 9% higher total abundance and 19% higher total biomass), while fishing zones showed a declining trend (7% lower species richness, 12% lower total abundance and 24% lower total biomass). Since the variation in average species richness, total abundance and biomass is not significant and could therefore be coincidental (reflecting natural spatial and temporal variability), it is necessary to analyse the 2012 catch data in order to establish whether the observed trends continued and whether they could be attributed to differing levels of protection. Average catch per unit effort - CPUE (unit effort being a 33 m long trammel net) is x ± SE = 1,6 ± 0,1 kg / net, which is rated as a 'very good' catch. In this respect the situation is quite favourable in the study area compared to many other sites in the Adriatic. However, biometry characteristics of commercially highly valuable and thus most targeted species show that average landing sizes are more than half the size of those attainable. Overall, plausible explanation for the observed limited effects of protection for the recovery of fisheries resources to date is that not enough time has passed to allow for significant changes. Another contributing factor reducing the recovery potential is that protected zones are not completely closed to all forms of fishing. Certainly, it is necessary to include additional effort, in terms of human and/or financial resources, in the future management actions if we want to achieve visible conservation effectiveness within this protected area. Further, it is necessary to establish the valuation and branding of fish caught in this protected area in order to make further action more visible and comprehensible to the wider community, as well as cost-effective for local inhabitants. Promoting a healthy product from a protected area on the Croatian and European fish markets is certainly one way of achieving this goal.