Towards Integrated Management of Ensis Stocks (TIMES)
Towards Integrated Management of Ensis Stocks
Start date: Feb 28, 2007,
End date: Jun 29, 2008
TIMES focuses on developing the key points identified by the SHARE project and will benefit from the close collaboration already set up during the SHARE project. The project partners will continue to work together to ensure targets are achieved. TIMES proposes a series of integrated actions which will contribute to maintaining this important business activity in peripheral coastal regions for future generations. It will also help to preserve and rehabilitate the maritime ecosystems of razor shellfish populations. Finally, the project will contribute to setting up a European association of highly innovative R&D institutions to develop an integrated approach to the sustainable management of Ensis. Main actions of the project: - Study the ecological effects associated with dredging to fish Ensis. This action has three objectives: 1) Analyse the immediate environmental effects on abyssal communities of fishing Ensis by dredging. 2) Monitor subsequent rehabilitation. 3) Evaluate changes in Ensis populations due to natural disturbances. Achievements: ✔ Project management, financial resource management, information dissemination and progress monitoring (setting a schedule of meetings and steering activities). ✔ Analysis of the impact of dredging for razor clams on abyssal communities: - Surveillance studies on the southwest coast of Portugal. - Gathering data on the structure of the razor clam population and fishing yields. This action has made it possible to analyse the geographical distribution of razor clam populations as well as the depth at which Siliqua razor clam beds are found. These results were compared with the data gathered in the same region by IPIMAR over the long term. ✔ Monitoring abyssal community restoration after putting a halt to fishing: - Evaluation of how the razor clam population changes after fishing is halted. - Recommendation on halting fishing for at least two years. ✔ Evaluation of changes in the abyssal community due to natural disturbances (normal). An inquiry was carried out on the impact fishing has on abyssal communities, based on double checking: ex-ante and ex-post. This inquiry was carried out in three test areas: a first area that is not fished, a second one that is moderately fished and a third that is intensively fished. ✔ Improving technical measures for the production of seed and the growth of two razor clam species with strong commercial potential: The aim was to determine the impact of the natural environment and nutrition on gonad development. Experiments were performed at different temperatures to determine the conditions under which they develop best. ✔ Improving techniques for raising razor clam larvae: - Determining the different development stages of larvae through a scanning electron microscope study. - Analysing the impact of nutritional conditions on the growth and survival of larvae. ✔ Improving techniques for raising larvae in nurseries: experiments on larvaes diet and notably on the effects of microalgae on the survival and growth of the Ensis arcuatus razor clam species. ✔ Development of intermediate farming techniques (period of support to larvae until they are large enough to survive): - Evaluation of the developmental and survival capacities of juvenile razor clams (4 months old) according to their concentration by number in a given volume. - Study on the complementary effects of sediment concentration and volume concentration for the growth of juvenile razor clams. ✔ Determination of the genetic structure of the Ensis population in the Atlantic Area: - Gathering live samples of razor clams, by region, in Spain, Portugal and Ireland for later DNA extraction. - Comparison of the samples using Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA and mitochondrial DNA analysis. ✔ Information and communication: - Internet sites: the TIMES project provided an opportunity to update the internet site created during the SHARE project. It notably includes the final reports of the two aforementioned projects and a certain number of summary reports also available in specialised journals. This internet site can be visited at the following address: www.razorclam.eu. - Two articles were published in scientific journals in 2008. These articles looked into the development of razor clam larvae and embryos as well as the potential changes in abyssal communities depending on the intensity of razor clam fishing. - Major events: The project organised 3 seminars between 2007 and 2009 for a total cost of 11,531.60 euros. It also took part in 2 seminars for which it was not the organiser.
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