Fishing opportunities for the deepwater cardinalfish (Epigonus crassicaudus) in the continental shelf break along central Chile

Resumen: Spatial patterns in fish distribution determine most fishing opportunities and tactics learned by fishers. To determine fishing opportunities and recurrent fishing grounds of deepwater fish such as the cardinalfish (Epigonus crassicaudus) in the south-central zone of Chile, we analyzed records of fishing logs covering the period 1999–2007. Fishing trawls covered from Topocalma (34º06’S) to northwest Corral (39º52’S), and we compared the position of individual fishing hauls (Euclidean distance) applying a hierarchical agglomerative clustering technique. The clusters obtained represented spatially distributed fishing opportunities (n = 28), which were visited occasionally (<10 fishing hauls) or regularly (>50 fishing hauls) to fishing for cardinalfish. The recurrent fishing opportunities (n = 7) were distributed discretely, from Constitución (35°19’S) to northwest Mocha Island (38°23’S) along the continental shelf slope and between 313 and 333 m depth. The species composition in the bycatch and the catch per unit effort trends allow us to identify secondary species and locally depleted fishing opportunities, the last occurring close to main fishing ports.



Evolution of heatwaves in Chile since 1980

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