A conservation trade-off? Interspecific differences in seahorse responses to experimental changes in fishing effort

  • Published source details Curtis J.M.R., Ribeiro J., Erzini K. & Vincent A.C.J. (2007) A conservation trade-off? Interspecific differences in seahorse responses to experimental changes in fishing effort. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 17, 468-484


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit all towed (mobile) fishing gear

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all towed (mobile) fishing gear

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2000–2002 of 14 sites within seagrass beds in the Ria Formosa lagoon, southern Portugal (Curtis et al. 2007) found that ceasing towed gear fishing led to increases in the cover of mobile invertebrates, but not non-moving (sessile) invertebrates, after 10 months. Cover of mobile invertebrates increased after towed-gear fishing stopped (3.9%) compared to before it stopped (1.1%), but not cover of sessile invertebrates (before: 2.8%; after: 2.7%). No changes were reported at sites where experimental fishing continued and at sites never fished (data not provided; no statistical comparisons were made with sites where fishing stopped). The use of towed demersal gears for commercial and recreational purposes is prohibited in the Ria Formosa. Experimental towed gear fishing started in October 2000 at 12 sites (monthly 10 m tow of a beach seine, 9 mm mesh) and stopped at nine of them in September 2001. Cover of sessile and mobile invertebrates (>2.5 cm) was surveyed at all sites and two nearby sites that were never fished during underwater visual surveys (180 m2/site) before fishing stopped (August–September 2001) and 10 months after (June–July 2002).

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