Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 32, 2019
Mullets fisheries and fry stocking in reservoirs in Tunisia
|Number of page(s)
|18 March 2019
Mugilids fisheries of Tunisian coasts and lagoons
Unité de Recherche Écosystèmes et Ressources Aquatiques (UR13AGRO1), Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie, Université de Carthage, 43 Avenue Charles-Nicolle, 1082 Tunis Mahrajène, Tunisie
2 Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (UM 110), Aix Marseille Univ., Université de Toulon, CNRS, IRD, Campus de Luminy, Océanomed, 13288 Marseille Cédex 9, France
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Handling Editor: Rutger de Wit
Accepted: 15 February 2019
With its 1300 km coastline and 110 000 ha of coastal lagoons, Tunisia offers important resources to demersal and pelagic fisheries. Among all the exploited fish species in Tunisia, mugilids are the most widespread. They are known in temperate, subtropical and tropical regions, and occur both in coastal areas, lagoon ecosystems and inland waters. Six mugilids species have been inventoried in Tunisia. Their migratory behavior consists of moving back and forth between brackish and saline environment where they spend a large part of their life cycles. This behavior results in a peculiar high vulnerability to human pressure. Consequently, they require special attention from fisheries managers for sustainable catches. This study was based on the data from the national fishing and aquaculture directorate (DGPA) statistics, and comprised time series from 1995 to 2015. We looked for clear tendencies and correlations between harvest from the coastal sea and lagoons of the different coastal regions, in relation to recruitment in coastal marine waters. We focused on two species, i.e. Mugil cephalus and Liza aurata, which are best appreciated for local consumption and, therefore, most targeted by the fishery in Tunisia. The Tunisian lagoons show a decreasing trend in mugilids landings. This may be explained by the disturbance of migratory ways and the degradation of the coastal habitats, by the harvest of fry used for the inland water-stocking program, and by the multiplication of droughts. Particularly the latter strongly limits the migration of juveniles. The harvest in the coastal zones is relatively stable, follows perfectly the total national landings, with although a clear increase since 2011 as a result of uncontrolled illegal fishing. The negative correlation between the total harvests of mugilids in the coastal sea and coastal lagoon was highly significant (Pearson coefficient r = −0.702, p < 0.001).
Key words: Mugilids / diversity / landings / coast / lagoons Tunisia
© EDP Sciences 2019
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