Characterizing spatial and temporal reef fisheries in Chinchorro Bank Biosphere Reserve, northern Mesoamerican Reef System

José Manuel Castro-Pérez, Gilberto-Acosta González, Jesús Ernesto Arias-González


The main objective of this paper was to create a baseline for the spatial and temporal characterization of fisheries in the Chinchorro Bank Biosphere Reserve. Monthly records of one of three fishing cooperatives in the area were taken between August 2004 and June 2005. The individual length and weight of each fish species were recorded per boat. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) was calculated as kilograms per fisherman per hour (kg-fisherman-1-hr-1). CPUE values for Epinephelus striatus, Mycteroperca bonaci, Lachnolaimus maximus and Sphyraena barracuda were highest in the “Nortes” (northerly-winds) season due to increased fishing effort and to the fact that they were apparently caught in spawning aggregation sites. Generally, fishing at Chinchorro Bank exerts low to moderate ecological impact because fishing gear restrictions and fisheries are closely linked to the extraction of spiny lobster, a resource with a higher aggregated-value in contrast to reef fisheries.

Palabras clave

Management; reef fisheries; Mexico; Chinchorro Bank; Biosphere reserve.

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