Mesoscale productivity fronts and local fishing opportunities in the European Seas. Fish and Fisheries

Druon, JN; Gascuel, D; Gibin, M; Zanzi, A; Fromentin, JM; Colloca, F; Helaouët, P; Coll, M; Mannini, A; Bluemel et al, JK. 2021 Mesoscale productivity fronts and local fishing opportunities in the European Seas. Fish and Fisheries. Fish and Fisheries, 00. 1-21.

87 Mesoscale productivity fronts and local fishing opportunities in the European Seas.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB) | Preview
Official URL:


This study evaluates the relationship between both commercial and scientific spatial fisheries data and a new satellite-based estimate of potential fish production (Ocean Productivity available to Fish, OPFish) in the European Seas. To construct OPFish, we used productivity frontal features derived from chlorophyll-a horizontal gradients, which characterize 10%–20% of the global phytoplankton production that effectively fuels higher trophic levels. OPFish is relatively consistent with the spatial distribution of both pelagic and demersal fish landings and catches per unit of effort (LPUEs and CPUEs, respectively). An index of harvest relative to ocean productivity (HP index) is calculated by dividing these LPUEs or CPUEs with OPFish. The HP index reflects the intensity of fishing by gear type with regard to local fish production. Low HP levels indicate lower LPUEs or CPUEs than expected from oceanic production, suggesting over-exploitation, while high HP levels imply more sustainable fishing. HP allows comparing the production-dependent suitability of local fishing intensities. Our results from bottom trawl data highlight that over-exploitation of demersal species from the shelves is twice as high in the Mediterranean Sea than in the North-East Atlantic. The estimate of HP index by dominant pelagic and demersal gears suggests that midwater and bottom otter trawls are associated with the lowest and highest overfishing, respectively. The contrasts of fishing intensity at local scales captured by the HP index suggest that accounting for the local potential fish production can promote fisheries sustainability in the context of ecosystem-based fisheries management as required by international marine policies.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: catches per unit of effort, chlorophyll-a gradient, landings per unit of effort, local-scale, Plankton-to-fish estimate, spatial fisheries management
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Ecosystems and Environmental Change > Movement ecology, behaviour and population structure
Depositing User: Emily Smart
Date made live: 28 Sep 2021 13:13
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2021 13:13

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item