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Past and present of a Mediterranean small-scale fishery: the Greek sponge fishery—its resilience and sustainability

Abstract : Global change impacts Mediterranean fisheries and the dependent human populations. Overfishing and epizootic diseases related to extreme climatic events are currently accepted as the main threats to the production of commercial bath sponges. Believing that other factors could have impacted this insular fishery, we assembled a 150-year-long series of sponge fishing data for Greece that was analyzed in relation with variations of the pressure and of the socio-economic contexts. Sponge fishing experienced huge variations, with notably two distant short periods when the production collapsed (late nineteenth century and between 1985 and 1991). Before the 1970s, these variations are mainly attributed to socio-economic and political changes. The monitoring of the catches per unit effort indicates a clear overfishing impact only after 1977. However, after the last collapse of the overall production which followed the severe disease outbreak of the late 1980s, the catch per unit effort showed a positive trend, which tends to indicate that the stocks available bear the present fishing pressure. Fishermen have adapted towards sustainable practices, by reducing their crew and also diversifying their targets, which nevertheless calls to a more accurate monitoring of such a small-scale fishery.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02527243
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - 9:29:24 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - 4:21:24 PM

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Maïa Fourt, Daniel Faget, Thanos Dailianis, Drosos Koutsoubas, Thierry Perez. Past and present of a Mediterranean small-scale fishery: the Greek sponge fishery—its resilience and sustainability. Regional Environmental Change, Springer Verlag, 2020, 20 (1), ⟨10.1007/s10113-020-01581-1⟩. ⟨hal-02527243⟩

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