Drivers and trends in catch of benthic resources in Chilean TURFs and surrounding open access areas
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Ocean & Coastal Management
Beginning in the 1990’s, Chile implemented an extensive Territorial User Rights for Fisheries (TURFs) network that now comprises nearly 1,000 TURFs. This network provides a rare opportunity to examine spatial and temporal trends in TURF use and impacts on surrounding open access areas (OAAs). In this analysis, landings of keyhole limpet (Fissurella spp.), kelp (Lessonia spp.) and red sea urchin (Loxechinus albus) were used to estimate catch-per-unit effort (CPUEs) and catch-per-unit area (CPUAs) indices inside and outside TURFs by fishing cove. For these species, CPUEs and CPUAs in 2015 were significantly higher inside TURFs. However, temporal trends analyzed with a linear mixed effects model indicate that CPUAs inside TURFs have been significantly decreasing since 2000 for keyhole limpet, red sea urchin and for loco (Concholepas concholepas), while in OAAs this measure only decreased for limpet. An elastic net regression was used to better explain catches in OAAs during 2015, including a variety of variables related to the characteristics and activity of proximal TURFs. Results indicate that exogenous factors unrelated to TURF management were the primary drivers of catches in OAAs during 2015 but that factors related to proximal TURFs appear to have a slight negative impact that grows over time. Collectively, these results indicate that while TURFs are associated with higher catch rates than surrounding OAAs, catch rates appear to be decreasing over time and, though limited, the impact of TURFs on surrounding OAAs may be negative. These findings suggest a need for a more nuanced and dynamic approach to spatial management on benthic resources in Chile.
Accepted manuscript version.
Beckensteiner, Jennifer; Scheld, Andrew M.; Fernandez, Miriam; and Kaplan, David M., Drivers and trends in catch of benthic resources in Chilean TURFs and surrounding open access areas (2020). Ocean & Coastal Management, 183, 104961.