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Vulnerability and Decision-Making in Multispecies Fisheries: A Risk Assessment of Bacalao (Mycteroperca olfax) and Related Species in the Galapagos’ Handline Fishery

1
Research Group Aquatic Ecology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Facultad de Ciencias de la Vida, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), Campus Gustavo Galindo, Guayaquil EC090151, Ecuador
3
Galapagos Marine Research and Exploration Program (GMaRE), Charles Darwin Foundation and Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral Research, Charles Darwin Research Station, Puerto Ayora EC200350, Ecuador
4
Charles Darwin Foundation, Charles Darwin Research Station, Puerto Ayora EC200350, Ecuador
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Department of Fisheries Biology, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95519, USA
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Facultad de Ingeniería Marítima y Ciencias del Mar, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), Campus Gustavo Galindo, Guayaquil EC090151, Ecuador
7
Marine Environment Laboratories, International Atomic Energy Agency, 98000 Monaco, Monaco
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6931; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176931
Received: 18 July 2020 / Revised: 12 August 2020 / Accepted: 25 August 2020 / Published: 26 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Fisheries Economics and Management)
Marine fish populations can be vulnerable to overfishing, as a response of their life history, ecology, and socio-economic aspects. Vulnerability assessments, in this regard, can be used to support fisheries decision-making by aiding species prioritization. Assessments like Productivity–Susceptibility Analyses are well suited for multispecies fisheries, with low gear selectivity and insufficient fishery-independent and dependent data. Using this method, we assessed local vulnerability of the Galapagos grouper (‘bacalao’; Mycteroperca olfax) and compared it with other phylogenetically-related species caught in the Galapagos’ handline-fishery. Bacalao is an overfished regionally endemic fish species, characterized by low resilience, high market and cultural value and high spatial overlap with the fishery. Our results suggested that bacalao is a species of high management priority, requiring urgent measures to prevent fisheries’ collapse. In addition, if current fishing pressure persists, other related species may become threatened in the near future. We also evaluated different management scenarios using this approach. Results suggested that the inclusion of additional no-take zones in the marine reserve, comprising key nursery habitats (such as mangroves) and spawning aggregation sites, would be necessary to reduce species vulnerability and to benefit other related species. Improving enforcement and fishers’ compliance are essential to guarantee the effectiveness of these measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: vulnerability; decision-making; multispecies fisheries; groupers; productivity susceptibility analysis; Mycteroperca olfax vulnerability; decision-making; multispecies fisheries; groupers; productivity susceptibility analysis; Mycteroperca olfax
MDPI and ACS Style

Pontón-Cevallos, J.F.; Bruneel, S.; Marín Jarrín, J.R.; Ramírez-González, J.; Bermúdez-Monsalve, J.R.; Goethals, P.L.M. Vulnerability and Decision-Making in Multispecies Fisheries: A Risk Assessment of Bacalao (Mycteroperca olfax) and Related Species in the Galapagos’ Handline Fishery. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6931. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176931

AMA Style

Pontón-Cevallos JF, Bruneel S, Marín Jarrín JR, Ramírez-González J, Bermúdez-Monsalve JR, Goethals PLM. Vulnerability and Decision-Making in Multispecies Fisheries: A Risk Assessment of Bacalao (Mycteroperca olfax) and Related Species in the Galapagos’ Handline Fishery. Sustainability. 2020; 12(17):6931. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176931

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pontón-Cevallos, José F., Stijn Bruneel, José R. Marín Jarrín, Jorge Ramírez-González, Jorge R. Bermúdez-Monsalve, and Peter L. M. Goethals. 2020. "Vulnerability and Decision-Making in Multispecies Fisheries: A Risk Assessment of Bacalao (Mycteroperca olfax) and Related Species in the Galapagos’ Handline Fishery" Sustainability 12, no. 17: 6931. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176931

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