Bariche, M., Alwan, N. and El-Fadel, M.
Structure and biological characteristics of purse seine landings off the Lebanese coast (eastern Mediterranean)
Fisheries Research, 82, (1-3), . (doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2006.05.018).
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Small pelagic fishes constitute most of the fish caught in the Mediterranean Sea and two thirds of the Lebanese landings. In this study, we present some biological parameters for the most common species collected during the fishing season. In Lebanon, juvenile pelagic fishes are attracted to floating lights and captured using purse seine nets. At least 32 species were collected but only 11 (mainly Engraulis encrasicolus, Sardina pilchardus, Sardinella aurita and Scomber japonicus) represented most of the catches. Weight–length relationships and different condition indices for common species were calculated. Most landed fishes were juveniles with a mean size of 11.3 ± 8.8 cm TL. Fish conditions exhibited a similar temporal pattern with a minimum recorded in July, probably due to interspecific food competition in the nurseries. The monitored fishing vessel landed about 15 tonnes of juvenile fishes during the 4-month fishing season while fishing effort remained constant. Size-ranges and length–frequency distributions showed that the dominant sizes ranged between 6 and 8 cm TL and that harvested fishes are smaller than the minimum size fished in neighbouring Mediterranean countries. The Lebanese purse seine fishery targets 0 age-class juvenile of many fishes in the nurseries, which is against sustainable fishing practices and has a potential impact on pelagic fish communities in the eastern Mediterranean
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