Fisheries management in one of the most crowded marine area. Does spatial planning help?

The Adriatic Sea is one of the most crowded marine area. Several fishing activities operate simultaneously in the area, and the need to minimize conflicts among them is also a social concern. We applied a spatially and temporally explicit fish and fisheries model to assess the impact of a suite of spatial plans suggested by practitioners that could reduce the pressure on the four demersal stocks of high commercial interest in the northern Adriatic and that could promote space sharing between mutually exclusive activities.

Check out the open access paper for more information in Ecosphere


DISPLACE is a spatial impact assessment tool that can be used to evaluate the consequences of spatial fisheries closures on the sustainability and the economy of fisheries. The model simulates individual vessels and how they will redistribute their fishing effort given spatial or temporal closures. By applying the model that fit the local fisheries of the Adriatic region, practitioners could further develop tailored applications to their area for both understanding the fine dynamic of the interlinked fish and fisheries here, and, in the meantime, acquire a helicopter view of the outcomes when the small-scale (fishing) operations at sea are aggregated. Ultimately, the framework applied to the Adriatic or other areas should analyse and provide data with thematic reports/scenario on which the practitioners can rely on to project the fish stock population levels and fishery economy relevant to the ecoregion. The model contributes to the coordination and integration of different spatial activities in marine areas and reduces potential inefficient management and use of space in accordance with the aims of the EU MSP and other Directives. In the project the model is used to estimate the consequences of closing specific areas to fishing.