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European spiny lobster recovery from overfishing enhanced through active restocking in Fully Protected Areas
Cau, A.; Bellodi, A.; Cannas, R.; Fois, M.; Guidetti, P.; Moccia, D.; Porcu, C.; Pusceddu, A.; Follesa, M.C. (2019). European spiny lobster recovery from overfishing enhanced through active restocking in Fully Protected Areas. NPG Scientific Reports 9(1): 11 pp. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49553-8
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Palinurus elephas (Fabricius, 1787) [WoRMS]

Authors  Top 
  • Cau, A.
  • Bellodi, A.
  • Cannas, R.
  • Fois, M.
  • Guidetti, P., more
  • Moccia, D.
  • Porcu, C.
  • Pusceddu, A.
  • Follesa, M.C.

    Fully protected areas (FPAs) help preserving biodiversity and reversing the global decline of fishery resources. Stocks of the European spiny lobster Palinurus elephas (Fabr. 1787), among the most precious gourmet seafood worldwide, are currently facing a dramatic decline. Previous attempts of recovery based on fishery restrictions or active post-larval restocking in marine reserves provided unsuccessful outcomes. Here we present results of a 5-year restocking program carried through a Collaborative Fishery Research (CFR) project, in three ad-hoc established FPAs replenished using below-legal size wild juveniles. Results showed that Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) in terms of both density and biomass burst (by ca. 300–700%) just 2 years since FPAs establishment, regardless of location. We also report tangible spillover effects (ca. 30–50% increase in density and biomass CPUE outside the FPAs) by the end of the program. Data from a 15-years lasting monitoring of a pilot FPA established in 1998, where the restocking protocol was conducted and protection kept in force once restocking ceased, demonstrated the persistence in time of restocking’ benefits. We foster that creation of FPAs assisted with local restocking under oriented CFR programs can represent an option for the recovery of European spiny lobster stocks from overfishing.

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