Title

A First Approach to Stock Assessment of the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) in Cantabria (Bay of Biscay)

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2017

Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Abstract

The purple sea urchin P. lividus is a marine resource greatly valued for its highly nutritious roe. The objective of this work is to analyse the spatial distribution pattern and population structure of this species in the region of Cantabria (Bay of Biscay) in order to identify the most appropriate zones for sustainable harvesting and for the establishment of adequate management strategies. Two depth ranges were studied (<5 and 5–10 m) in five coastal areas. The available stock of commercial individuals (size >55 mm) was estimated based on the density of individuals and biometric parameters. Significant differences were found among areas but not among depth ranges. Three areas showed low densities with large individuals, whereas two areas showed high densities with small individuals. Despite the average smaller size of the individuals, these high-density areas accumulated 76% of the commercial stock, making these the most suitable zones for the sustainable harvesting of P. lividus in the region. The high variability of the observed density values resulted in elevated uncertainty in the estimation of stocks. However, the high sea urchin densities together with the high percentages of commercial individuals suggest that the resource is currently underexploited. Further studies should be carried out, and precautionary measures should be adopted before opening the fishery. The suitability of many of these measures is discussed in the present work, as a necessary step in the management of the P. lividus fishery in Cantabria.

Publication Title

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Volume

97

Issue

3

First Page

561

Last Page

570

Find in your library

Share

COinS