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JNAFS

01

Enrique A. Crespo, Susana N. Pedraza, Silvana L. Dans, Mariano Koen Alonso, Laura M. Reyes, Néstor A. García, Mariano Coscarella and Adrián C. M. Schiavini

Centro Nacional Patagónico (CONICET), Boulevard Brown s/n
9120 Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina

Source - Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science, Volume 22: 189-207
ISSN-0250-6408

Abstract

Since 1989, interactions between marine mammals and fisheries have been monitored along the Atlantic Patagonian coast. The Argentinian national fishing fleet in the area is composed of approximately 208 vessels (75% trawlers; 16% jiggins; 9% longliners). The fleet operates the year-round from eight harbours between Escondida Island and San Jorge Gulf (80 000 naut. miles2). The important target species are: hake (Merluccius hubbsi), shortfin squid (Illex argentinus) and shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri), while several tons of other fish are discarded. The dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus), the Commerson's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) and the southern sea lion (Otaria flavescens) are incidentally caught. The dolphins become entangled mainly in mid-water trawls at night, while the sea lions become entangled in any kind of trawl. Annual mortality rates obtained are 170-480 sea lions (mostly males; figure estimated to be 1-2% of the population size in the area), 70-200 dusky dolphins (70% females) and 25-170 Commerson's dolphins. Feeding habits of top predators, fish catch and bycatch of the fishery were also studied. Dusky dolphins in the area prey mainly on anchovy and squid, while hake was the most important food item for Commerson's dolphins and male southern sea lions. Squid is also important prey for sea lions and overlaps in size with the fish taken by the commercial fishery. Fishing areas for squid taken by jigging vessels overlap in part with those of foraging sea lions. Even though the commercial size for hake is 30 cm or larger, smaller hakes are largely discarded by the fishery. A combination of operational and specific interactions have been detected. At present, mortality rates seem to be low and there is insufficient evidence of competition for prey species. However, there is concern about the large amounts of fish (particularly hake) discarded by the fishery.

Language - English
Publisher - Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), Dartmouth, N.S., Canada
Publication Date - December 1997
Publication Type - Journal Article

Citation
Posted in: Volume 22 - 1997
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