Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have completed a new study on the geography of commercial fisheries in Northwest Mexico and the results could have far-ranging implications for the sustainable future of marine wildlife in the area.
The scientists, led by Scripps postdoctoral researcher Brad Erisman, analyzed data from local fisheries offices around the region that includes Baja California as well as Gulf of California coasts from Sonora south to Nayarit. The region accounts for more than 60 percent of fishing production in Mexico.
The scientists' goal was to detect any patterns between the geography of the species and their habitats in Northwest Mexico, and the localized fishing information revealed in the data. After poring over the data the researchers found clear-cut overlapping patterns in their analysis and used the results to create a new map proposing five clearly defined fishery sub-regions around Northwest Mexico.
While fisheries resources in Northwest Mexico are currently managed as one homogeneous area, the researchers' proposed sub-regions differentiate between areas rich in mangroves versus rocky shores, reefs versus soft sea bottoms, as well as temperate versus tropical regions, and geological features distinguishing west and east.
Such sub-regions, the researchers say, could be crucial for implementing specific, customized fishing and conservation practices, including so-called "ecosystem-based management" approaches in each region.
The map and results of the study were published in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea's (ICES) Journal of Marine Science.
"We found a strong connection between geographic location of the major habitats of the region and the organization of the fishing activities in terms of what is being caught, whether it's clams, sharks or shrimp," said Erisman. "So this gives us a framework to operate both fisheries management and conservation priorities within the same region and on the same spatial scale, thus meeting criteria for maintaining healthy ecosystems and also for maintaining economic livelihoods and productive fisheries."
Erisman, Scripps postdoctoral researcher Octavio Aburto-Oropeza and their colleagues worked with landing records provided by Mexico's National Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission (CONAPESCA) and conduct detailed field surveys in the Gulf of California, spending several weeks in each expedition diving to document species and habitats and to speak with local fishermen about their practices.
Aburto-Oropeza says the data used in the study shed light on the economic importance of artisanal fishing practiced out of thousands of small panga boats in Northwest Mexico.
"Right now everything is managed the same way, with the idea of the largest-scale industrial fisheries of squid, tuna, shrimp and sardine," said Aburto-Oropeza. "But this study is showing that the small-scale fisheries and their landings of valuable species such as red snapper and snooks are very important. The management of the different regions in Northwest Mexico should be very different."
The sub-regions proposed by this study allow for the implementation of different management agendas such as networks of marine reserves and fisheries management plans.
For the idea to be effective, however, the researchers argue that large-scale industrial fishing activities that transect throughout Northwest Mexico would have to be curtailed. They also say the idea of customized sub-regions bolstering ecosystem-based management efforts could be applied in other areas of the world threatened by shrinking fisheries resources.
In addition to Erisman and Aburto-Oropeza, coauthors of the paper include Gustavo Paredes and Philip Hastings of Scripps Oceanography and Tomas Plomozo-Lugo and Juan Cota-Nieto of the Centro para la Biodiversidad Marina y la Conservación in La Paz.
The research was supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation.
Note to broadcast and cable producers: University of California, San Diego provides an on-campus satellite uplink facility for live or pre-recorded television interviews. Please phone or e-mail the media contact listed above to arrange an interview.About Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Mario Aguilera | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.06.2017 | Information Technology
27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy