[MARMAM] new publication on common dolphins, overfishing and fisheries management in the Mediterranean Sea

Chiara Piroddi piropiro12 at yahoo.it
Fri Aug 5 01:55:45 PDT 2011

Dear Marmam colleagues,

The following paper has been published on Biological Conservation:

>From common to rare: The case of the Mediterranean common dolphin 
Chiara Piroddi, Giovanni Bearzi, Joan Gonzalvo and Villy Christensen


Although overfishing  has been recognized as responsible for the decline of 
major fish stocks,  it has been less easy to demonstrate its indirect and 
detrimental  effects on marine mammals, particularly dolphins. Competition with  
fisheries for the same food resources has been hypothesized to have led  to the 
decline of several species of dolphins, including the endangered  Mediterranean 
short-beaked common dolphin. Based on an ecosystem model  for the Inner Ionian 
Sea Archipelago, a former hotspot for common  dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea, 
we investigated the effect of  increasing fishing effort on common dolphins, its 
prey and on marine  biodiversity and we evaluated the outcomes of different 
fisheries  closures (1 – closure of the purse seine fishery, 2 – closure of 
purse  seine, trawl and beach seine fisheries, 3 – entire area closed to  
fisheries) ran between the years 2011 and 2030. Our results showed that  local 
fisheries have negatively impacted the marine biodiversity of the  ecosystem 
causing sharp declines of common dolphins and major fish  stocks and weakening 
the robustness of the marine food web. The  implementation of fisheries closures 
would gradually recover fish  stocks, while common dolphins would increase more 
pronouncedly only if  the study area was to be closed to all fisheries. As shown 
in this  study, common dolphins have reflected ecosystem changes and degradation  
over time. Ensuring the survival of dolphin populations is thereby  essential to 
enhance marine ecosystems and ensure sustainable fishing.
PDF copy can be downloaded from the journal website: 
or you can request a copy by emailing me at: c.piroddi at fisheries.ubc.ca

Best Regards,


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