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Catch me if you can: Non-compliance of limpet protection in the Azores

Hugo Diogo, João Gil Pereira and Mara Schmiing

Marine Policy, 2016, vol. 63, issue C, 92-99

Abstract: Signs of changing marine ecosystems due to increasing human use of marine resources are recognised worldwide. Legislation and regulations are often at the core of fisheries management and harvesting control. However, these are ineffective without the respective compliance, often requiring an effective surveillance and enforcement in support of conservation success. Limpets are a popular seafood and traditionally collected and consumed in the Azores, Northeast Atlantic, leading to a fisheries collapse in the 1980s and the subsequent implementation of limpet protected zones (LPZs) and seasonal fishing closures. A roving creel survey was used in two islands of the Azores to assess the level of compliance with the existing regulations. Results indicate that shore-based limpet collection is mainly influenced by environmental conditions, including wave height and tide, and general temporal constraints, including time of day, day type, and season. A high level of non-compliance with spatial (i.e. about 40% of the harvesting events inside no-take zones) and temporal conservation measures was observed. Harvesting effort in the closed and open season was not significantly different. Recently new regulations for limpet harvesting were implemented in the Azores, extending recreational harvesting techniques to snorkelling but potential long-term effects are unknown. This study shows how on-site recreational fishing survey methods can assist managers to assess the level of illegal fishing and support the development of adaptive conservation strategies for vulnerable inshore species.

Keywords: Intertidal; Illegal harvest; Marine protected area; Poaching; Recreational fishing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2015.10.007

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Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:63:y:2016:i:c:p:92-99