Vulnerability of nearshore tropical finfish in Cuba: implications for scientific and management planning
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
Fisheries Research Center (CIP), Calle 246 # 503, e/ 5ta Ave. y Mar, Reparto Barlovento, Playa, Havana, Cuba, CP 11300
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), 18 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02108;, Email: [email protected]
National Center for Protected Areas (CNAP), Calle 18A #4114, entre 41 y 47, Playa, Havana, Cuba
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), 123 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94105
April 1, 2018
This article was made available online on December 21, 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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