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Research article2011Peer reviewed

First implementation of a Gadget model for the analysis of hake in the Mediterranean

Bartolino, Valerio; Colloca, Francesco; Taylor, Lorna; Stefansson, Gunnar


An age-length structured model was built for European hake Merluccius merluccius in the central Mediterranean Sea using Gadget. This analytical framework allowed to integrate multiple sources of information, including fisheries-dependent and fisheries-independent data, collected at different scales and aggregation levels. The model includes the two main fisheries targeting hake in the area, the trawl and the gillnet fisheries, and account for differences in their selectivity and effort. Alternative models were used for testing different assumptions on recruitment and growth. The model is then used to predict the main trajectory of the stock during the next years and to evaluate the potential effects of implementing closed areas management scenarios in the hake nurseries as a specific tool to reduce fishing mortality on recruits. The modelling framework presented performed successfully also in a commercial landing data limited context, common for the Mediterranean. Our results provide statistical support for fast growth and multiple recruitment events assumptions. Including both these key features represent an unprecedented improvement of modelling hake population dynamics in the Mediterranean. We found that the reduction in the fishing effort that characterized the fisheries in the study area during the last few years, coupled with fast recovery abilities of the hake stock, has the potentiality to allow a moderate increase of the stock during the next years. Interestingly, our simulations show that the positive effects which might be expected from protecting hake nursery grounds are only marginally related to a reduction in hake recruits fishing mortality. Although our model relies on assumptions and surely represents an over-simplification of the real world, it still contributed to improve our understanding of the temporal dynamics of one of the most valuable fish stocks in the central Mediterranean. (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Hake; Mediterranean; Gadget; Length-based; Multi-fleet; Statistical model

Published in

Fisheries Research
2011, Volume: 107, number: 1-3, pages: 75-83

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Fish and Aquacultural Science

    Publication identifier


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