Modeling environmental, spatial, temporal, and operational effects on blue shark by-catches in the Mediterranean long-line fishery

Authors: 

Megalofonou, P., D. Damalas, M. Deflorio, G. De Metrio

Year: 

2009

Journal/Publisher Name: 

J. Appl. Ichthyol.

Publisher Address: 

Journal of Applied Ichthyology Print ISSN: 0175-8659 Online ISSN: 1439-0426 Published on behalf of Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut John Wiley & Sons Boschstrasse 12 D-69469 Weinheim Germany

Volume (Issue #): 

25(1)

Page #s: 

47-55

Contact information: 

P. Megalofonou, Department of Biology, Section of Zoology-Marine Biology, University of Athens, Greece Pmegalo@biol.uoa.gr
Summary: 

A study was conducted from 1998 to 2001 on blue shark (Prionace glauca) by-catch of the Italian and Greek surface drifting swordfish long-line fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea. The focus was on examining whether catches are related to some environmental, spatial, temporal or operational parameters and to what extent, applying generalized linear model (GLM) approaches. Spatial and temporal factors were the most influential regarding blue shark distribution and abundance, with a considerable interaction between them; the modeled environmental factors were of minor importance. Spatial distribution revealed a strong longitudinal gradient whereby blue shark occurrences increased in an east to west direction, whereas catches by latitude were higher in southern- and northern-most regions. Blue sharks were more frequently encountered in autumn and in distant open waters; however, the likelihood of making a larger catch peaked in late spring–early summer and in the vicinity of land. Catch rates differed significantly depending on the fishing gear configuration. Deeper settings (>20 m), more resilient lines and use of fish attractants increased the probability of P. glauca capture.