THIS 2019, THE CAMPAIGN FOCUSES ON COLLABORATIVE WORK WITH THE LOCAL FISHERMEN AND FISHMONGERS IN ORDER TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE FISHING IN THE AREA.
The project is carried out with the collaboration of Fundación Biodiversidad, of the Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica, through the Program pleamar, co-financed by the FEMP.
The Creus canyon, together with the Liguria area, is one of the most productive areas of the western Mediterraneanan. Several scientific studies, carried out in the area show it has high biodiversity levels; and it is also included in the space of the Natura 2000 Network LIC ESZZ16001 System of western submarine canyons of the Gulf of León.
Several scientific studies demonstrate that the Creus canyon, together with the Liguria area, is one of the most productive areas of the western Mediterranean and shows high biodiversity levels. It is also included in the space of the Natura 2000 Network LIC ESZZ16001 System of western submarine canyons of the Gulf of León.
At the beginning of the 2000s, the area was highlighted as having the highest density of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) along the Catalan coast and as being an important habitat for the bottlenose dolphin population of the Mediterranean.
The bottlenose dolphin is one of the most sensitive and vulnerable species to fishing interaction -this being a well-documented problem in the Catalan-Balearic Mediterranean-.
In 2017, SUBMON began a collaborative project with the local fishermen in order to assess the status of the dolphin population and also to analyze the degree of interaction between the species and the trawling fleet of the area. Meetings were held with the brotherhoods and surveys where conducted among fishermen from the ports of Llançà, Port de la Selva and Rosas. In addition, participatory workshops were offered to local fishermen to enhance the importance of their participation in the project.
Thanks to this work, it was possible to verify that there is a clear interaction between trawling and bottlenose dolphin populations, especially during the fishing activity that takes place closer to the coast. Fishermen agree that dolphins can be seen all year round, but that 50 years ago the population was higher, although in the last 4-5 years they agree that more dolphins have been seen.
The good response and the collaborative work with the fishing sector has allowed us to follow the campaign and include a direct action plan focused on the fishmongers and local shops. Especially, this 2019, we are focused on the creation of participatory spaces with the fishing sector, the local and regional administration, and the consumer sector (fishmongers, fish producers, etc.) to find common alternatives that enhance the revaluation of the fishery product and help raise the awareness and conservation of the natural, cultural and landscape values of the Cabo de Creus.
Also, a local awareness campaign will be developed in order to publicize the importance of the consumption of these fishery products, as they have been responsibly fished and following good fishing practices that minimize the impact on cetaceans. Moreover, participatory workshops and pilot tests with fishermen who implement good practices will be held.
The bottlenose dolphin study campaign will continue with Photo-Identification methodologies and studying the existing fishing interaction thanks to the environmental volunteer program that will train volunteers in order to participate in the project.