[MARMAM] New publication: competition for food between dolphins and small pelagic fisheries in the North Aegean Sea

Nino Pierantonio nino.pierantonio at protonmail.com
Tue Dec 1 03:20:49 PST 2020


Dear MARMAM community,

My co-authors and I are very pleased to share with you our most recent paper published in the Ocean and Coastal Management journal. The manuscript presents information on the competition for food between dolphins and fisheries of small pelagic fishes in North Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean Sea). The paper is freely available online for the next 50 days (until January 19, 2021) at https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1c9~M3RKK-nkh3. Feel free to read and share the paper with your colleagues and peers.

Tsagarakis, K., Panigada, S., Machias, A., Giannoulaki, M., Foutsi, A., Pierantonio, N., & Paximadis, G. (2020). Trophic interactions in the “small pelagic fish - dolphins - fisheries” triangle: Outputs of a modelling approach in the North Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean, Greece). Ocean & Coastal Management 105474.

Abstract – The aim of this work is to assess potential effects on dolphins caused by fishing Small Pelagic Fish (SPF) in the North Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean, Greece) ecosystem due to competition for food. To this end, an existing Ecopath ecosystem model was updated with dolphins' abundance estimates derived from a recent dedicated aerial survey. The approach included the quantification of trophic impacts and the estimation of the fraction of production of SPF that is consumed by dolphins and their main competitor, the purse seine (PS) fishery. Overall, competition for resources (i.e., SPF) between purse seines and dolphins was at relatively low levels as revealed by the analyses of flows in the "small pelagic fish - dolphins - fisheries" triangle, despite the relatively high abundance of dolphins in the NAS compared to adjacent areas. Specifically, the consumption of anchovy's production by dolphins was very low (3.6%) while consumption by the PS fleet was almost four times higher (13.1%). A much larger fraction (71.8%) of consumption of anchovy's production was attributed to other predators. The competition for sardine was at slightly higher levels than for anchovy (4.6% consumption by dolphins and 20.4% removals by the PS fleet). Even when different SPF abundance estimates were assumed to take into account uncertainty and historical records from acoustic surveys, food competition didn't seem to be an important issue. Nevertheless, as anchovy (and to a lower extent sardine) was found to be a key forage species in the North Aegean Sea ecosystem according to two food web indices (SURF and Connectance indices) estimated, special attention should be placed to ensure that the dolphins' populations are not threatened by food depletion in the future.

Please feel free to email with any questions.
On behalf of all authors,

Nino

--

Research Associate
Tethys Research Institute
www.tethys.org
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1210-8831

Mobile: +44 (0)7581737669
Phone: +44 (0)1249813815
Skype: pierantonio_nino
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