Journal Article

Interactions between fish and fisher's spatial distribution and behaviour: an empirical study of the anchovy (<i>Engraulis ringens</i>) fishery of Peru

Sophie Bertrand, Erich Díaz and Miguel Ñiquen

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 61, issue 7, pages 1127-1136
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Interactions between fish and fisher's spatial distribution and behaviour: an empirical study of the anchovy (Engraulis ringens) fishery of Peru

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Fishing data provide, with wide spatio-temporal coverage, inexpensive information about exploited species, but a precondition for their interpretation is a good comprehension of fish and fisher spatial dynamics and interactions. In Peru, anchovy (Engraulis ringens) is exploited by an industrial fleet of about 800 purse-seiners operating all along the coast. Using simultaneous acoustic survey and commercial fishing data for the 1998–2001 time period, we present a preliminary, exploratory, and empirical approach to identify the nature of potential interactions between Peruvian anchovy and fisher behaviour. We show that (i) Peruvian anchovy exhibited a composite spatial strategy for the study period, i.e. a change in biomass was associated with both change in geographical extension and density; (ii) fishing behaviour significantly varied within and among vessels in terms of travel duration, searching duration, and number of fishing sets; and (iii) interactions between fish and fisher behaviours differed according to the spatial scale. At a fish stock scale (the scale of fishing ground selection for fishers), fishing was more efficient with low biomass and high spatial concentration (low stock range and high biomass); at a local fish spatial scale (the scale of searching for a school inside the fishing ground), fishing performance was favoured by high mean local abundances and low spatial concentration (the way fish is distributed inside its stock range); finally, at the school scale (the scale of the fishing set), both high abundance and high spatial concentration were favourable to fishing success.

Keywords: fish spatial distribution; fisher behaviour; Peruvian anchovy; spatial concentration; spatial scale

Journal Article.  5585 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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