Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 34.1 (2011) Pages: 123-131
Trophic indicators to measure the impact of fishing on an exploited ecosystem
Pennino, M. G., Bellido, J. M., Conesa, D., López-Quílez, A.DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2011.34.0123
There is currently a global call for more use of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) to provide a holistic view of ecosystem-fisheries interactions. Trophic indicators could therefore be used to support the implementation of an EAFM by providing information on the state of the ecosystem. In this paper we propose a set of indicators such as the marine trophic index (MTI), the fishing in balance (FiB), the cut marine trophic index (cutMTI) and the pelagic/demersal index (P/D) to assess the dynamics and the trophic changes in the Black Sea large marine ecosytem from 1970 to 2005. Our analysis shows a heavily exploited ecosystem where overfishing and anthropogenic eutrophication are probably responsible. The decline of the MTI, cutMTI and FiB together with the rising trend of the P/D index could be interpreted as a fishing down marine food web process with a strong decrease in abundance of high trophic level species and a considerable increase of low trophic level species.