Study area showing the seven geographical regions considered in Spanish annual landings statistics :: Image: Authors

Antonio Punzón, Lucia Rueda, Augusto Rodríguez-Basalo, Manuel Hidalgo, Pere Oliver, José Castro, Juan Gil, Antonio Esteban, Luis Gil de Sola, Enric Massutí, 2019. History of the Spanish demersal fishery in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas. ICES Journal of Marine Science, fsz231,

Abstract: Long fisheries time series allow the review of baselines and inform our knowledge of past events that have conditioned the recent history of the stocks. In this study, we investigated trends in fisheries landings data for the most representative Atlantic and Mediterranean demersal fisheries off the Spanish Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands (1933–1986). The aim was to analyse the evolution of demersal species exploitation and detect changes in landings and fishing tactics. Ten species were selected, which included teleosts, crustaceans, and cephalopods. Results indicated a decrease in Landings Per Unit of Capacity (LPUC) in six of the species examined. While in the Atlantic the process of substitution or incorporation of new species to the fisheries occurs progressively, in the Mediterranean this incorporation occurs simultaneously for many of the species. Four main fishing tactics (landing pattern obtained from the classification analysis of landings per species) were identified. Geographically nearby and connected regions developed similar fishing tactics to each other, and also changed over time. While the fleets from isolated regions were more specialized, and only carrying out one fishing tactic during the study period. Improvements in LPUC with the implementation of new technology and legislative and management measures were not observed.