Publicado por: pongpesca | 2017/03/13

Fisheries impacts on China’s coastal ecosystems: Unmasking a pervasive ‘fishing down’ effect

“Intensive fishing can strongly impact marine ecosystems; among other things, it usually causes the mean trophic level of the catches to decline, an indicator of the occurrence of the ‘fishing down’ (FD) phenomenon. Although FD occurs throughout the world oceans, it can easily be masked by diverse factors, which has misled authors as to its generality. In this contribution, which uses the East China Sea as an example, we explore the masking effect on FD of the taxonomic coarseness of catch data, of assuming that individual sizes remain constant after intensive fishing, and the geographic expansion of fisheries. The result showed that all of these masking factors occur in the East China Sea, where only a few species are reported separately and the bulk of the catch is pooled into non-informative ‘mixed fishes’. Also, the small mesh sizes and intensive fishing have reduced the sizes of fish and their trophic levels, while the fisheries have expanded offshore. Overall, taking the masking factors into account, the fishing down effect, i.e., the decline of the mean trophic level of the catch between 1979 and 2014 is in the order of 0.15 TL per decade, i.e., one of the highest estimates of FD in the world. Some ecological implications are presented.”

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Fonte: PLOS ONE – 7 de março de 2017

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