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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10793/840

Title: Spatial Heterogeneity in Fishing Creates de facto Refugia for Endangered Celtic Sea Elasmobranchs
Authors: Shephard, Samuel
Gerritsen, H.D.
Kaiser, Michel J.
Reid, David G.
Keywords: Spatial Heterogeneity
Creates de facto Refugia
Endangered
Celtic Sea
Elasmobranchs
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: PLOS
Citation: Shephard S, Gerritsen H, Kaiser MJ, Reid DG (2012) Spatial Heterogeneity in Fishing Creates de facto Refugia for Endangered Celtic Sea Elasmobranchs. PLoS ONE 7(11): e49307. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049307
Series/Report no.: ;7(11)
Abstract: The life history characteristics of some elasmobranchs make them particularly vulnerable to fishing mortality; about a third of all species are listed by the IUCN as Threatened or Near Threatened. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been suggested as a tool for conservation of elasmobranchs, but they are likely to be effective only if such populations respond to fishing impacts at spatial-scales corresponding to MPA size. Using the example of the Celtic Sea, we modelled elasmobranch biomass (kg h21) in fisheries-independent survey hauls as a function of environmental variables and ‘local’ (within 20 km radius) fishing effort (h y21) recorded from Vessel Monitoring Systems data. Model selection using AIC suggested strongest support for linear mixed effects models in which the variables (i) fishing effort, (ii) geographic location and (iii) demersal fish assemblage had approximately equal importance in explaining elasmobranch biomass. In the eastern Celtic Sea, sampling sites that occurred in the lowest 10% of the observed fishing effort range recorded 10 species of elasmobranch including the critically endangered Dipturus spp. The most intensely fished 10% of sites had only three elasmobranch species, with two IUCN listed as Least Concern. Our results suggest that stable spatial heterogeneity in fishing effort creates de facto refugia for elasmobranchs in the Celtic Sea. However, changes in the present fisheries management regime could impair the refuge effect by changing fisher’s behaviour and displacing effort into these areas.
Description: Copyright 2012 Shephard et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
peer-reviewed
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10793/840
Appears in Collections:Peer Reviewed Scientific Papers

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