Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-93
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-93

  07 Apr 2021

07 Apr 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

New historical data for long-term swordfish ecological studies in the Mediterranean Sea

Brian R. MacKenzie1, Teresa Romeo2,3, Piero Addis4, Pietro Battaglia2, Pierpaolo Consoli2, Franco Andaloro2, and Gianluca Sarà5 Brian R. MacKenzie et al.
  • 1National Institute for Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, DK 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
  • 2Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Sicily, Department of Integrative Marine Ecology, Via dei Mille 46, Milazzo (ME), Italy
  • 3National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, Via dei Mille 46 - 98057 Milazzo (ME), Italy
  • 4Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
  • 5Department of Earth and Marine Science, University of Palermo, Italy

Abstract. Management of marine fisheries and ecosystems is constrained by knowledge based on datasets with limited temporal coverage. Many populations and ecosystems have been perturbed long before scientific investigations have begun. This situation is particularly acute for the largest and commercially most valuable species. We hypothesized that historical trap fishery records for bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, could contain catch data and information for other, bycatch species, such as swordfish, Xiphias gladius. This species has a long history of exploitation and is presently overexploited, yet indicators of its status (biomass) used in fishery management only start in 1950. Here we examine historical fishery records and logbooks from some of these traps and recovered ca. 110 years of bycatch data (1896–2010). These previously-neglected, but now recovered, data include catch dates and amounts in numbers and/or weights (including individual weights) for the time period before and after major expansion of swordfish fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea. New historical datasets such as these could help understand how human activities and natural variability interact to affect long-term dynamics of this species.

Brian R. MacKenzie et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-93', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-93', Anonymous Referee #2, 28 Apr 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on essd-2021-93', Anonymous Referee #3, 10 May 2021

Brian R. MacKenzie et al.

Data sets

Timing and duration of fishing seasons for artisanal bluefin tuna traps at four sites in Italy, 1896-2010. MacKenzie, Brian R; Romeo, Teresa; Addis, Piero; Battaglia, Pietro; Consoli, Pierpaolo; Andaloro, Franco; Sarà, Gianluca https://www.pangaea.de/tok/3389e53f767d14bbf5d991985778c6fc871c314c

Monthly-resolved swordfish bycatch data from Milazzo tuna trap, 1896-1901. MacKenzie, Brian R; Romeo, Teresa; Addis, Piero; Battaglia, Pietro; Consoli, Pierpaolo; Andaloro, Franco; Sarà, Gianluca https://www.pangaea.de/tok/b7e606c35804776223b2f6f372061ac212458a0d

Swordfish bycatch data from tuna traps located at four sites in Italy, 1896-2010. PANGAEA, MacKenzie, Brian R; Romeo, Teresa; Addis, Piero; Battaglia, Pietro; Consoli, Pierpaolo; Andaloro, Franco; Sarà, Gianluca https://www.pangaea.de/tok/8d1a24cfe1e5b9f79f61f40eaf8f804e469873f0

Brian R. MacKenzie et al.

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Short summary
Management of marine fisheries and ecosystems is limited by knowledge based on datasets which are short and recent. We recovered new long-term catch and size data for swordfish in the Mediterranean Sea. Our new data series cover the period 1896-2010 which predates most other Mediterranean swordfish datasets. The data allows scientists to investigate long-term effects of fishing and ocean-climate conditions on swordfish ecology in the Mediterranean Sea.