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The Mediterranean: marine protected areas and the recovery of a large marine ecosystem

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 November 2000

RAQUEL GOÑI
Affiliation:
IEO-Centro Oceanográfico de Baleares, PO Box 291, 07080 Palma de Mallorca, Spain e-mail: raquel.goni@ba.ieo.es
NICHOLAS V.C. POLUNIN
Affiliation:
Department of Marine Sciences, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
SERGE PLANES
Affiliation:
EPHE-URA CNRS 1453, Université de Perpignan, 66860 Perpignan Cedex, France

Abstract

In the Mediterranean, fishing is an ancient tradition and signs of its presence can be found everywhere along its coasts. In early times, most fishing was carried out from land with small nets and traps and only a portion of the fishing operations was carried out from boats away from the coast. Over time, growth of human populations along the Mediterranean coasts led to the expansion of sea fishing and gradual depletion of many near-shore stocks. Until recently, fishing in the Mediterranean retained its artisanal character. The type of small vessels, the fishing gears and labour-intensive character of the operations had changed little from generation to generation. However, some fishing practices benefited greatly from the advent of new technologies, such as those that replaced sails by powered engines, or the incorporation of fish-finding devices and efficient gear-handling techniques. These developments added to a growing market demand from the booming Mediterranean population, and led to overfishing of the most vulnerable target populations.

Type
Comment
Copyright
© 2000 Foundation for Environmental Conservation

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