Elasmobranch bycatch in the Italian Adriatic pelagic trawl fishery

Published on 29. January 2018

Elasmobranch bycatch in the Italian Adriatic pelagic trawl fishery

Bonanomi S, Pulcinella J, Fortuna CM, Moro F, Sala A


Elasmobranchs are among the most threatened long-lived marine species worldwide, and incidental capture is a major source of mortality. The northern central Adriatic Sea, though one of the most overfished basins of the Mediterranean Sea, supports a very valuable marine biodiversity, including elasmobranchs. This study assesses the impact of the northern central Adriatic pelagic trawl fishery on common smooth-hound (Mustelus mustelus), spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias), common eagle ray (Myliobatis aquila), and pelagic stingray (Pteroplatytrygon violacea) by examining incidental catches recorded between 2006 and 2015. The distribution of bycatch events was evaluated using geo-referenced data. Generalized Linear Models were computed to standardize the catch of the four species and to predict the relative abundance of bycatch events. Data analysis shows that most bycatch events involving all four species occurred in the northern Adriatic Sea. The models predicted significant, distinct temporal patterns of standardized catches in line with previous investigations. Water depth, season, and fishing region were the best predictors to explain bycatch events. The present data suggest that the northern Adriatic may be an important nursery area for several elasmobranchs. They also highlight the urgent need for a better understanding of the interactions between elasmobranchs and fisheries to develop and apply suitable, ad hoc management measures.

PLoS ONE 13(1): e0191647. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0191647



Leave a Reply