ABSTRACT The off-shore demersal trap fishery in the southern Arabian Gulf has been managed by gear regulations and effort constraints which were aimed at rebuilding depleted stocks. In order to evaluate the success of these regulations, a variety of selectivity and other fishery metrics were compared for the key species (Diagramma pictum, Epinephelus coioides and Lethrinus nebulosus) before and after their introduction. With the exception of a minor increase in the mean age at first capture from 1.3 yrs to 1.9 yrs for E. coioides, there were no significant changes in the values or trends in juvenile retention, mean size or the mean sizes and ages at first capture. The comparison of selectivity ogives with data derived independently through an experimental fishing program indicated that the failure of juvenile escape panels to modify the selectivity characteristics of the fishery could not be attributed to a lack of compliance. Furthermore, there were no significant changes in fishing mortality rates, harvest rates, catch, effort, yield per recruit and relative spawner biomass per recruit following the introduction of the management regulations. Age structures were highly truncated and the management measures had failed to increase the relative proportion of older age classes. Stock status indicators suggested that all species were heavily over-exploited with evidence of both growth and recruitment over-fishing. Given the failure of existing regulations to modify gear selectivity, reduce effort and rebuild stocks, the results of the study suggest that management authorities should consider alternative measures including a moratorium on the use of traps in the off-shore demersal fishery of Abu Dhabi.
Cite this paper
E. Grandcourt, T. Al Abdessalaam, S. Hartmann, F. Francis and A. Al Shamsi, "An Evaluation of the Management Effectiveness of a Stock Re-Building Strategy for a Multi-Species Demersal Trap Fishery in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates," Open Journal of Marine Science, Vol. 1 No. 3, 2011, pp. 82-97. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2011.13009.
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