ISSN: 1578-665X | e-ISSN: 2014-928X An international journal devoted to the study and conservation of animal biodiversity, open-access, free for authors, driven by a fast-paced editorial process that includes assessment by experts. It is published twice a year.

Trophic indicators to measure the impact of fishing on an exploited ecosystem

Pennino, M. G.  Bellido, J. M.  Conesa, D.  López–Quílez, A.  


There is currently a global call for more use of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) to provide a holistic view of ecosystem-fisheries interactions. Trophic indicators could therefore be used to support the implementation of an EAFM by providing information on the state of the ecosystem. In this paper we propose a set of indicators such as the marine trophic index (MTI), the fishing in balance (FiB), the cut marine trophic index (cutMTI) and the pelagic/demersal index (P/D) to assess the dynamics and the trophic changes in the Black Sea large marine ecosytem from 1970 to 2005. Our analysis shows a heavily exploited ecosystem where overfishing and anthropogenic eutrophication are probably responsible. The decline of the MTI, cutMTI and FiB together with the rising trend of the P/D index could be interpreted as a fishing down marine food web process with a strong decrease in abundance of high trophic level species and a considerable increase of low trophic level species.

Key words

Trophic indicators, Ecosystem approach to fisheries management, Black Sea

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Índex de Volume 34.1 (2011)