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Exploring the potential effects of marine protected areas on the ecosystem structure of the Gulf of Gabes using the Ecospace model

Abstract : The Gulf of Gabes is considered as one of the most productive areas of the southern Mediterranean Sea and it plays an important role in Tunisian economy. It is known to be an archetypal ecosystem in which the effects of fisheries are the most pronounced. Based on the stock assessment outcomes, it is as a highly exploited ecosystem. Thereupon, it becomes necessary to establish adequate measures to facilitate the recovery of the marine resources. The most important sets of management measures regard the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). However, these management plans should be assessed beforehand to make sure of the relevance of the measure and its impact on marine resources. Modeling may significantly enhance our understanding of the likely impacts of fisheries management plans on groups that are very difficult to study and this approach gives insights at larger spatial scales. We used Ecospace to investigate the potential impacts of several spatial management plans on the ecosystem structure of the Gulf of Gabes. The Ecospace model is based on the existing Ecopath model elaborated by Hattab (2013). The simulation were carried over a 15-year period. The outcomes of the simulations, suggest that the implementation of MPAs in the Gulf of Gabes could be simultaneously beneficial for the ecosystem and fishing activities. However, the benefits are related to the characteristics of the MPA. The spatial simulations highlight that the location is crucial to the success of the MPA. Additionally, an increase in the size of a MPA can result in an increase in the spillover effect and, consequently, in catches in the neighborhood without harming ecosystem integrity. The configuration of the implemented MPA is of capital importance, a set of many small MPAs is more beneficial than fewer and larger MPAs, especially in terms of catches.
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Soumis le : mardi 14 septembre 2021 - 15:42:37
Dernière modification le : mardi 23 novembre 2021 - 23:52:01


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Khaled Abdou, Ghassen Halouani, Tarek Hattab, Mohamed Salah Romdhane, Frida Ben Rais Lasram, et al.. Exploring the potential effects of marine protected areas on the ecosystem structure of the Gulf of Gabes using the Ecospace model. Aquatic Living Resources, EDP Sciences, 2016, 29 (2), pp.202. ⟨10.1051/alr/2016014⟩. ⟨hal-01483191⟩



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