Body size changes of commercial species within the Galician small-scale fishery

The Galician artisanal sector is a multi-specific and multi-gear small-scale fishery of enormous socioeconomic importance both within Spain and at the EU level. However, despite its key role for the local communities and cultures, there is a lack of basic scientific research regarding multiple fishery and ecological aspects that would help to gain deep knowledge on the resources dynamics. The Technical Unit of Artisanal Fisheries (UTPB) runs a monitoring fishery-dependent program since 1999 that serves the autonomous government (Xunta de Galicia) to develop and implement simple exploitation plans in conjunction with the several fishers associations (‘cofradías‘) distributed along the Galician coast. Briefly, data are recorded by UTPB observers onboard fishing vessels randomly selected from within the artisanal fleet (~4000 boats) and assumed to be representative for the numerous set of species and gears and with a sufficient spatial and temporal coverage. This project aims at taking advantage of these data (>40,000 sampled hauls over a 17 yr period) to specifically analyze the spatio-temporal changes in body size. In particular, we are interested in investigating the spatio-temporal variability in body size of targeted species of fishes and invertebrates exploited by the SSF. We are also interested in developing research to evaluate the variability in size spectrums and to study the fluctuations of other patterns related to size such as condition. Furthermore, the influence of the prevailing oceanographic and climatic conditions, so as the impact of the current exploitation regimes are of interest too.

The post-doc fellow will work on a regional project focused on understanding the dynamics and impacts of the Galician Small-Scale Fisheries.