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Global significance of seagrass fishery activity
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Number of Authors: 42018 (English)In: Fish and Fisheries, ISSN 1467-2960, E-ISSN 1467-2979, Vol. 19, no 3, p. 399-412Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seagrass meadows support fisheries through provision of nursery areas and trophic subsidies to adjacent habitats. As shallow coastal habitats, they also provide key fishing grounds; however, the nature and extent of such exploitation are poorly understood. These productive meadows are being degraded globally at rapid rates. For degradation to cease, there needs to be better appreciation for the value of these habitats in supporting global fisheries. Here, we provide the first global scale study demonstrating the extent, importance and nature of fisheries exploitation of seagrass meadows. Due to a paucity of available data, the study used a global expert survey to demonstrate the widespread significance of seagrass-based fishing activity. Our study finds that seagrass-based fisheries are globally important and present virtually wherever seagrass exists, supporting subsistence, commercial and recreational activity. A wide range of fishing methods and gear is used reflecting the spatial distribution patterns of seagrass meadows, and their depth ranges from intertidal (accessible by foot) to relatively deep water (where commercial trawls can operate). Seagrass meadows are multispecies fishing grounds targeted by fishers for any fish or invertebrate species that can be eaten, sold or used as bait. In the coastal communities of developing countries, the importance of the nearshore seagrass fishery for livelihoods and well-being is irrefutable. In developed countries, the seagrass fishery is often recreational and/or more target species specific. Regardless of location, this study is the first to highlight collectively the indiscriminate nature and global scale of seagrass fisheries and the diversity of exploitative methods employed to extract seagrass-associated resources. Evidence presented emphasizes the need for targeted management to support continued viability of seagrass meadows as a global ecosystem service provider.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 19, no 3, p. 399-412
Keywords [en]
fishing gear, fishing vessel, gleaning, recreational fishing, small-scale fisheries, subsistence fisheries
National Category
Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries Ecology Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-156596DOI: 10.1111/faf.12259ISI: 000431990200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-156596DiVA, id: diva2:1211125
Available from: 2018-05-30 Created: 2018-05-30 Last updated: 2018-05-30Bibliographically approved

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