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      Evidence of illegal catch in the benthic artisanal fisheries of central Chile: patterns across species and management regimes

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          ABSTRACT Non-compliance with fishing regulations is a widespread phenomenon in fisheries worldwide, jeopardizing the recovery of stocks and ecosystem services. There is an urgent need to fill the gaps in our understanding of the scale and nature of illegal fishing in artisanal fisheries, balancing the advances made in industrial fisheries. We explored patterns of fisher compliance with the existing minimum legal size (MLS) regulation in the small-scale benthic fisheries of central Chile. We focus on two of the most conspicuous species (loco Concholepas concholepas and keyhole limpets Fissurella spp.) and comparing two management regimes: management areas (MAs; local name for territorial use rights for fisheries) and open access areas (OAAs; no spatial entry restrictions). We also evaluated the effect of the spatial distribution of MAs, which determines the availability of OAAs on compliance. For both species, we measured the size of individuals in the catch in two consecutive years. We developed an index that accounts for the availability of open access areas per fisher. We found that a) the number of undersized individuals in the catch in OAAs is enormous, b) management regime influences both the median size and fraction of the undersized catch, and c) as the availability of OAAs per fisher decreases, illegal fishing increases, demonstrating the need to manage the levels of effort displacement in designing area-based instruments for management and conservation. Our findings also highlight the need to a) analyze the benefits of area-based instruments at the seascape scale, and b) develop and adapt instruments to prevent illegal fishing.

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          Most cited references 57

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          Catch reconstructions reveal that global marine fisheries catches are higher than reported and declining

          Fisheries data assembled by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) suggest that global marine fisheries catches increased to 86 million tonnes in 1996, then slightly declined. Here, using a decade-long multinational ‘catch reconstruction' project covering the Exclusive Economic Zones of the world's maritime countries and the High Seas from 1950 to 2010, and accounting for all fisheries, we identify catch trajectories differing considerably from the national data submitted to the FAO. We suggest that catch actually peaked at 130 million tonnes, and has been declining much more strongly since. This decline in reconstructed catches reflects declines in industrial catches and to a smaller extent declining discards, despite industrial fishing having expanded from industrialized countries to the waters of developing countries. The differing trajectories documented here suggest a need for improved monitoring of all fisheries, including often neglected small-scale fisheries, and illegal and other problematic fisheries, as well as discarded bycatch.
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            Status and solutions for the world's unassessed fisheries.

            Recent reports suggest that many well-assessed fisheries in developed countries are moving toward sustainability. We examined whether the same conclusion holds for fisheries lacking formal assessment, which comprise >80% of global catch. We developed a method using species' life-history, catch, and fishery development data to estimate the status of thousands of unassessed fisheries worldwide. We found that small unassessed fisheries are in substantially worse condition than assessed fisheries, but that large unassessed fisheries may be performing nearly as well as their assessed counterparts. Both small and large stocks, however, continue to decline; 64% of unassessed stocks could provide increased sustainable harvest if rebuilt. Our results suggest that global fishery recovery would simultaneously create increases in abundance (56%) and fishery yields (8 to 40%).
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              Capacity shortfalls hinder the performance of marine protected areas globally

              Although 71% of marine protected areas are benefiting fish populations, their effects are highly variable, with staff capacity proving to be the most important explanatory variable.

                Author and article information

                Latin american journal of aquatic research
                Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res.
                Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Facultad de Recursos Naturales. Escuela de Ciencias del Mar (Valparaíso, , Chile )
                May 2020
                : 48
                : 2
                : 287-303
                Paris orgnameSorbonne Université orgdiv1Faculty of Science and Engineering France
                Santiago Santiago de Chile orgnamePontificia Universidad Católica de Chile orgdiv1Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas orgdiv2Departamento de Ecología Chile
                Bremen orgnameUniversity of Bremen orgdiv1Bremen Marine Ecology Germany
                S0718-560X2020000200287 S0718-560X(20)04800200287

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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