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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Serial depletion of fishing grounds in an unregulated, open access fishery

Cardinale, Massimiliano; Nugroho, D; Jonsson, Patrik


Pelagic fish stocks in the Java Sea have declined since the beginning of the 1990s and are nowadays at the lowest observed level. The fishery exploiting those stocks has essentially been unregulated and historically driven by market demands. This constitutes an ideal example to test the hypothesis of serial depletion of fishing grounds in an open-access fishery. Here we show that different fishing grounds were successively depleted depending on the distance from the harbor and the commercial importance of the species. Closest fishing grounds were depleted first, while the most distant ones where the last to be affected. The spatio-temporal trend in effort showed a decrease for the closest fishing grounds and an increase for the most distant ones over time. To our knowledge, this is the first data driven example of the "serial depletion phenomenon" in harvesting marine resources, where the harvesters successively exploit, deplete and finally abandon traditional fishing grounds with increasing distance from the harbor and economical importance of the species. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Java Sea; Small pelagics; Local depletion; Serial exploitation

Published in

Fisheries Research
2011, volume: 108, number: 1, pages: 106-111

Authors' information

Swedish Board of Fisheries
Nugroho, D
Swedish Board of Fisheries

UKÄ Subject classification

Fish and Aquacultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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