Recent ROV surveys conducted on the Ragusa bank in the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea) documented illegal and continuous use of the 'ingegno' gear for red coral fishing. Three lost gears were recorded showing different levels of epibiosis thus supporting multi-annual exploitation of the bank. The red coral population of the Ragusa bank showed a typical 'forest-like' configuration with upright, medium-sized colonies similar to those of other commercially exploited deep Mediterranean banks. The direct negative effect of this trawling gear was evident from numerous rocky boulders completely enveloped by lost nets and occasionally turned over. Red coral fragments as well as fragments of 'ingegno' nets were observed in high abundance on the sea floor. This evidence suggests that this gear is highly destructive even on rough sea floors, contrary to the traditional view, which is that it has a more random impact on rough rocky bottoms. The estimated coral uptake of 'ingegno' is 45% of the total coral biomass, while the estimated coral loss, in terms of fragments, is 9%, demonstrating the high impact of this gear. The study highlighted the infringement of the red coral fishing ban by trawling gears as well as a lack of effective policing. The strengthening of controls on landings at nearby harbours, and education programmes for the local maritime communities are among the management actions proposed to protect these surviving red coral populations from the ongoing illegal fishing activity.
|Titolo:||Illegal ingegno fishery and conservation of deep red coral banks in the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 - Articolo su rivista|
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|54. Cattaneo et al., 2017_Ingegno deep red coral.pdf||Documento in versione editoriale||Administrator Richiedi una copia|