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Impact of fisheries on sea turtles

The bycatch of sea turtles by industrial fisheries is receiving an increasing attention in recent years due to the high impact it causes on these endangered species. This issue was evaluated in southern Spain waters that harbors an important feeding ground of loggerhead and leatherback turtles, including the endangered Eastern Atlantic loggerhead population. To quantify the impact that different fisheries represents to sea turtles, 272 fishermen answered to detailed illustrated questionnaires in all the main ports of Andalusia and Murcia (Spain) during 2014. This study has updated the knowledge of turtle bycatch in the southwestern Mediterranean revealing a widespread impact of fisheries on sea turtles. Fishermen recognized an annual catch of 2.3 turtles per boat. Considering the census of industrial fishing boats in the study area (1182), more than 2840 sea turtles could be bycaught per year in the study area. Most of captures (96.2%) were produced during the summer. These results suggest a severe impact of most of legal fisheries (surface longline, pursue seine, trawling and small scale fisheries) on loggerhead feeding grounds in the southwestern Mediterranean. Fishermen suggests that drift fishing conducted by foreign or illegal fishermen and almadrabas are also causing a significant bycatch of turtles. Several measures such as reviewing compliance of current fishing and environmental regulations, modifying turtle technics to reduce turtle bycatch (e.g. reduction of the use of squid as bait and disposal of hooks deeper in the water column), facilitating the rescue and handle of wound turtles and their transport to the port for recovery, and recognizing the efforts of anglers to perform a more sustainable fishing, are recommended to mitigate this impact. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Marco et al (2020) Sea turtle bycatch by different types of fisheries in southern Spain. Basic and Applied Herpetology https://doi.org/10.11160/bah.187


http://ojs.herpetologica.org/index.php/bah/article/view/187
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Disentangling the abundance–impact relationship for invasive species

Disentangling the abundance–impact relationship for invasive species

To predict the threat of biological invasions to native species, it is critical to understand how increasing abundance of invasive alien species (IAS) affects native populations and communities. The form of this relationship across taxa and ecosystems is unknown, but is expected to depend strongly on the trophic position of the IAS relative to the native species. Using a global metaanalysis based on 1,258 empirical studies presented in 201 scientific publications, the authors assessed the shape, direction, and strength of native responses to increasing invader abundance. They also tested how native responses varied with relative trophic position and for responses at the population vs. community levels. As IAS abundance increased, native populations declined nonlinearly by 20%, on average, and community metrics declined linearly by 25%. When at higher trophic levels, invaders tended to cause a strong, nonlinear decline in native populations and communities, with the greatest impacts occurring at low invader abundance. In contrast, invaders at the same trophic level tended to cause a linear decline in native populations and communities, while invaders at lower trophic levels had no consistent impacts. At the community level, increasing invader abundance had significantly larger effects on species evenness and diversity than on species richness. These results show that native responses to invasion depend critically on invasive species' abundance and trophic position. Further, these general abundance–impact relationships reveal how IAS impacts are likely to develop during the invasion process and when to best manage them. información[at]ebd.csic.es: Bradley et al (2019) Disentangling the abundance–impact relationship for invasive species. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1818081116


https://www.pnas.org/content/116/20/9919