Volume 62

Why the Trawl Fishery became Unsustainable In Venezuela? Case Study: The Trawl Fishery of the Gulf of Venezuela (1956-2008).

Pomares-Ferraz, O,; González, L,; Álvarez, R,; Barreto, T. Smith, J,; García, A.
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Date: November, 2009

Pages: 105-113

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty -Second Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Cumaná

Country: Venezuela


The industrial fleet of shrimp trawling in the Gulf of Venezuela was the more important in the country, since its beginning in 1958 until its final closure by the state in 2008. The following evaluations were conducted to determine which led to his loss of sustainability: its historical development, discarding during 1973-1995 period, trophic models (ECOPATH), contrasting two extreme years in the intensity of fishing. There are five alternative states of development of fisheries and discusses their causes. During expansions CPUE levels were significantly reduced and hence the profitability, forcing part of the fleet to move to the east of the country. The ecological impacts of the fishery can be summarized as: a) During periods of expansion effort was placed above the recommended optimum in terms of MSY, b) Usually the size at first capture was over the first sexual maturity and the exploitation rate near or above the maximum, c) Discards accounted 52.93 and 78.06% of the total catch per year, of which 53.45% were juveniles of commercial species, d) It appears the generate significant techno-environmental externalities to small-scale fisheries, because the degree of overlap between the target of these catches and incidental trawl. e) Be ratify the pattern of fishing down the food webs (0.02/decade), f) With increasing fishing pressure simplifies the ecosystem, resize and lose stability. We discuss the historical role played by fisheries management and assessment and alternative scenarios to the total closure of the fishery.

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