WP2 - Tools for the implementation of ecosystem approach to fisheries and sustainable aquaculture

WP2 - Ecosystem approach to the evaluation and use of fisheries resources was mainly aimed at modelling relationships among environmental drivers, dynamics of biological resources and impact of catches in some areas relevant for Italian fisheries. Two workshops, one devoted to the Strait of Sicily and one to the Adriatic Sea, involved different stakeholders in order to identify and prioritize issues to be investigated in agreement to knowledge and perception of different stakeholders, including representatives of government institutions, representatives of fishermen's organizations, people involved in aquaculture, non-governmental agencies, as well as scientists, fisheries experts, oceanographers. The meetings produced a SWOT analysis and the identification of major gaps and some hypothetical management scenarios to be analyzed.

Models development activities included the specific implementations of hydrodynamic models (the model MITGCM for the whole Mediterranean basin, the Adriatic-Ionian system, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Adriatic Sea, as well as ROMS and SHYFEM for the northern Tyrrhenian and the northern Adriatic, respectively), Lagrangian models (modification of LTRANS including Z coordinates and connectivity analysis, applied in the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic), a biogeochemical model (BFM), coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical models (development of a coupler MITGCM -BFM and its application to the Mediterranean and the Adriatic-Ionian system), food webs models (Ecopath on Adriatic, Ionian Sea, the Strait of Sicily, southern Tyrrhenian Sea, and ATLANTIS in the Sicilian Channel). In parallel it was established and validated the data base needed to build models for the study areas, including biological data (resources, pelagic and benthic invertebrates, plankton), catches and fishing effort.

Furthermore some specific models for dynamics of main target species of Italian fisheries (deep water rose shrimp, hake, red mullets, soles, anchovy and sardine) were developed. In particular, in the Strait of Sicily the SMART model was used to analyze the short time effects on fishing mortality, biomass at sea and fishery gains, by comparing different scenarios of reductions of fishing effort and closure of nurseries, whereas a model based on game theory has been used to analyze the Adriatic Sea small pelagic fishing activity, contrasting cooperative and non cooperative system of fishing.

Development of food web models in the Italian seas (the Adriatic, Ionian, Tyrrhenian southern Strait of Sicily) to understand and quantify the dynamic relationships between the environment, the target species of the fisheries and the ecosystem, also including climate and socio-economic aspects, and to explore the effects on the ecosystem of different management scenarios. The image shows the food web of the North Adriatic