OBSAM | Vulnerable Fish Study – Phase 2

€9,520.00 (funded under Project Menorca) awarded

Organisation requesting funding:

OBSAM – Menorca’s Socio-environmental Observatory.

Issue of Concern being addressed:

Fish stocks vulnerable to rock bottom fishing in the coastal waters.

Project Overview:

In 2000, the OBSAM created the “Follow-up Network for Menorca’s Marine wildlife” ” to support projects carried out on the island and to carry out studies within the framework of knowledge and support for the management of the Biosphere Reserve. One of the Network’s projects was to carry out regular monitoring of fish communities vulnerable to rock bottom fishing, which unfortunately ended in 2011 due to a lack of resources. As a result of the support and funding from the MENORCA PRESERVATION FUND during 2018, the OBSAM has been able to reactivate this monitoring after seven years and to do so in collaboration with other entities involved in the management and research of Menorca’s marine environment.

As a result of the results obtained, the observations of expert researchers consulted and the legal-administrative reality of these two zones, we are working to turn this project into a basic monitoring for the future management of these two zones.

Taking into account that  the management of marine protected areas has a direct impact on fish populations. Besides,  it would be expected that, with the declaration of the new marine reserve in Isla del Aire and the approval of the PRUG of the park, that the state of these fish populations will be favored, reflecting the reserve effect generated when the extractive activities of a marine area are actively managed and restricted. However, in order to know if the management measures applied are correct and have repercussions on fish populations, this type of long-term monitoring must be established and carried out.

Project collaborations:

OBSAM is working with the Estación Jaume Ferrer (marine research Centre on Menorca) in order to ensure full collaboration on this project both in terms of staff, coordination, funds, required materials etc. IBANAT. With the Dirección General de Pesca y Medio Marino there will be meetings to contrast results, methodologies and exchange opinions. Biosphere Reserve agency and the Balearic government (yet to define).

General project objective:

Consolidate the monitoring of fish stocks vulnerable to rock bottom fishing in the coastal waters of the Natural Park of s’Albufera des Grau and the Air Island.

The projects specific objectives are:

  • Repeat the sampling of fish stocks vulnerable to fishing in the marine area of the Natural Parc of S’albufera d’es Grau and Illa de l’aire.
  • Evaluate the state of fish stocks in the two study areas and give robustness to the results obtained during 2018 before the approval of the planned management regulations.
  • Consolidate the reactivation of the OBSAM’s “Follow-up Network for Menorca’s Marine wildlife” which began in 2000 and was interrupted in 2011.
  • Consolidate collaboration with the different key stakeholders (entities and administrations) of Menorca involved in marine management and encourage the exchange of information with the Directorate General of Fisheries and Marine Environment.
  • Evaluate the level of fishing pressure being placed on the rocky bottom fish populations via visual censors.
  • Identify environmental impacts, threats or problems as well as detect invasive species (fish, algae or invertebrates).
  • Expand historical data sets to determine tendencies going forward.


Project phases:

Phase 1.

  1. Administrative tasks
  2. Team review
  3. Coordination
  4. Training

Phase 2.

  1. Organization and planning
  2. Sampling
  3. Data recording

Phase 3.

  1. Statistical analysis
  2. Report writing
  3. Evidences dissemination



April 2019 to December 2019