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Open Access Vulnerability of nearshore tropical finfish in Cuba: implications for scientific and management planning

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Coastal areas of Cuba harbor rich biodiversity that provide a variety of important ecosystem services, including fisheries production. High-value invertebrate fisheries in Cuba are managed on the basis of scientific assessments, but comparable data and analyses are lacking for the much larger number of exploited finfish species. However, dramatic declines in finfish catch despite minimal management restrictions suggests resource depletion, and the need for scientific and management attention. To prioritize finfish for such attention, we conducted productivity-susceptibility analyses (PSA) for 34 species within each of Cuba's four fishery management zones. The resulting 136 estimates of vulnerability to overfishing revealed few differences in species-specific scores among zones, despite ecological and socioeconomic heterogeneity along the Cuban coast. Vulnerability scores were generally low, although this relative metric does not necessarily mean that overfishing has not occurred. Spatial differences in catch composition relative to the vulnerability scores underscore potential differences in socioeconomic vulnerability of fishing communities based upon their reliance on different species. Therefore, our PSA results should be used to prioritize research, monitoring, and stock assessment efforts, as well as management actions, within each fishing zone to conserve locally important resources, recover those that are depleted, sustainably develop those that are underutilized, and promote ecological and socioeconomic stability across Cuba as it confronts the challenges of a changing world.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Fisheries Research Center (CIP), Calle 246 # 503, e/ 5ta Ave. y Mar, Reparto Barlovento, Playa, Havana, Cuba, CP 11300 2: Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), 18 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02108;, Email: [email protected] 3: National Center for Protected Areas (CNAP), Calle 18A #4114, entre 41 y 47, Playa, Havana, Cuba 4: Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), 123 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94105

Publication date: 01 April 2018

This article was made available online on 21 December 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Vulnerability of nearshore tropical finfish in Cuba: implications for scientific and management planning".

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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