AB 20:255-272 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00563

A case study of artificial reefs as a potential tool for maintaining artisanal fisheries in the French Mediterranean Sea

Anne Tessier1,2,*, Marion Verdoit-Jarraya2,3, Sylvain Blouet4, Nicolas Dalias1, Philippe Lenfant2,3

1SEANEO, 11 Rue Louis Esparre, 66100, Perpignan, France
2Université de Perpignan Via Domitia, Centre de Formation et de Recherche sur les Environnements Méditerranéens, UMR 5110, 52 Avenue Paul Alduy, 66860, Perpignan, France
3CNRS, Centre de Formation et de Recherche sur les Environnements Méditerranéens, UMR 5110, 52 Avenue Paul Alduy, 66860, Perpignan, France
4Mairie d’Agde, Direction Gestion du milieu marin, 34300, Agde, France
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to obtain information allowing an initial assessment of the potential of French Mediterranean artificial reefs (ARs) as a management tool to aid artisanal fishermen. The study focuses on 3 ARs located along the Gulf of Lion coastline in the French Mediterranean Sea. At the end of spring 2012, experimental fishing with trammel nets was conducted at ARs and natural rocky areas (NRs) at various distances from the ARs/NRs (0, 300 and 900 m). The yields of fish and invertebrates were analyzed at the AR sites to identify significant changes along a distance gradient and to determine whether there was a significant difference between ARs and NRs. The AR yields of species preferring rocky substrates were generally higher between 0 and 300 m from the ARs than beyond 300 m, whereas the yields of species preferring sandy substrates or of invertebrates did not differ between 0 and 900 m from the ARs. Furthermore, the AR yields were equal to the NR yields or were between 1.5- and 1.8-fold higher than the NR yields. Overall, this study indicates that success varied by species, fishing locality and distance from the reef. ARs could be a potentially effective tool for enhancing artisanal fishing along the French Mediterranean coasts. However, it would be necessary to establish management measures to avoid overexploitation. For instance, in terms of the configuration of the AR areas in a given locality, a no-take area could be established within a radius of 300 m around the ARs.


KEY WORDS: Fish assemblage · Soleidae · Trammel net · Catches · Gulf of Lion


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Cite this article as: Tessier A, Verdoit-Jarraya M, Blouet S, Dalias N, Lenfant P (2014) A case study of artificial reefs as a potential tool for maintaining artisanal fisheries in the French Mediterranean Sea. Aquat Biol 20:255-272. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00563

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