Patterns of use in an artificial reef system: a case study in Portugal
One of the main objectives of artificial reef deployment is to concentrate fish species, thereby benefiting nearby fishing communities through higher catch per unit of effort (CPUE) and improved accessibility to the resource. To establish whether such benefits are realized, a study of the effects of pilot reefs deployed in Portugal was undertaken on patterns of use amongst reef users. From September 2002 until December 2004 primary data were collected through direct site observations (DSOs) of vessel activity in the areas surrounding the Olhão artificial reef system (OARS). Basic descriptive statistics were applied, and the main findings were that: (A) the OARS was used by both commercial and recreational vessels; (B) this activity included both regular and occasional users; (C) all regular users constituted commercial small-scale fishers; (d) all regular users were registered with the closest port authorities; and (E) there was a clear gear density pattern over and around the OARS. Additionally, with regard to the annual economic performance of commercial vessels, we found that in 2002, regular fishermen operating on the OARS had a significantly higher income than the Portuguese national minimum wage (NMW).
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 January 2006
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