Fauna and fisheries diversity

A specific study based on a revision of the literature has been conducted to determine the most representative ichthyology and the fish species of commercial interest in the PLOCAN area of activity. The study area is shown in the next figure.

135 commercial species caught in the area using the fishing gear used by the main fishing entities that operate in the area (traps, drift nets, purse seine nets and hook and line) were identified. Table XXIV lists the commercial species, along with the fauna group each species belongs to.

27 species of bony fish and 1 species of cephalopod mollusc (octopus) have attained the category of main commercial species (MC). Secondary commercial species (SC) presented the following composition: 37 species of bony fish, 6 decapod crustaceans, 4 cephalopod molluscs, 2 gastropod molluscs (limpets) and 1 cartilaginous fish (tope shark). Occasional commercial species (OC) included: 35 species of bony fish, 12 cartilaginous fish, 4 decapod crustaceans, 3 cephalopod molluscs and 2 gastropod molluscs (top shells).

Bony fish (99 nominal species) make up the most diverse commercial category (largest number of species) and the largest (in terms of level of catches and commercial value).

The 10 most representative species of bony fish, in the category of main commercial species, of the artisanal fisheries of the north east sector of Gran Canaria in 2010-2014 in order of amount caught were:

  • Parrot fish (Sparisoma cretense), pink dentex (Dentex gibbosus), goldline (Sarpa salpa), shortbody sardine (Sardinella maderensis), black seabream (Spondyliosoma cantharus), Spanish sardine (Sardinella aurita), European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus), Moroccan white seabream (Diplodus sargus cadenati), common two banded seabream (Diplodus vulgaris) and skipjack tuna.

There were only a few specimens of a few species of cartilaginous fish, with a poor contribution in terms of biomass caught. The poor representation tends to fall even more as a consequence of the current ban on fishing and marketing angel sharks (Squatina squatina) and an increase in general awareness. However, the tope shark (Mustelus mustelus) was a secondary commercial species.

With respect to the cephalopod molluscs (8 nominal species), it is worth highlighting that the octopus (Octopus vulgaris) falls into the category of main commercial species. Catches of arrow squid (Ommastrephidae) have to be considered as seasonal and variable from one year to the next.

The decapod crustaceans (10 nominal species) partially represent an emerging group of target species. This has been brought about by new fishing and/or shell-fishing activities with different kinds of traps, where the target species are: a) soldier striped shrimp (Plesionika edwardsii) and as companions, narwal shrimp (Plesionika narval), armed nylon shrimp (Heterocarpus ensifer) and toothed rock crab (Cancer bellianus); b) king crab (Chaceon affinis) and as companions, shrimps (Heterocarpus laevigatus and H. grimaldii), toothed rock crab and paromola (Paromola cuvieri).

As for the echinoderms, common sea-urchins (Paracentrotus lividus) are also fished as an occasional commercial species, as an emerging activity driven by research.

As a whole, considering all the different species, the total specific composition amounts to 135 nominal species, including bony fish (99 species), cartilaginous fish (13 species), decapod crustaceans (10 species), cephalopod molluscs (8 species), gastropod molluscs (4 species) and echinoderms (1 species) (Table XXIV).

This list of 135 nominal zoological species is a list of the marine biodiversity harnessed/exploited by the artisanal fisheries in the north east sector of Gran Canaria between 2010 and 2014.

See TablaXXIV