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Marzieh RAZZAGHI, Sakineh MASHJOOR, Ehsan KAMRANI. Mean trophic level of coastal fisheries landings in the Persian Gulf (Hormuzgan Province), 2002–2011[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2017, 35(3): 528-536

Mean trophic level of coastal fisheries landings in the Persian Gulf (Hormuzgan Province), 2002–2011

Marzieh RAZZAGHI1,2, Sakineh MASHJOOR1,3, Ehsan KAMRANI1
1 Marine Biology Department, Faculty of Marine Science and Technology, Hormuzgan University. Bandar-e-abbas, Iran;
2 Young Researchers Club, Bandar-e-abbas Branch, Islamic Azad University, Bandar-e-abbas, Iran;
3 Young Researchers Club, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran
Fishing activities can alter the structure of marine food webs by the selective removal of some species. The changes in the marine food webs of the Hormuzgan waters of the Persian Gulf, Iran were assessed, based on estimates of the mean trophic index (MTI) and Fishing in Balance index (FiB), and on landing profile of the exploited marine community (49 species) during the period, 2002–2011. The total landings (Yt) (R=0.88, P < 0.001) increased gradually while the Yt of carnivores has slightly declined, and the Yt of herbivores, detritivores and omnivores has increased. Consequently, the MTI significantly decreased (R=-0.69, P < 0.05) at a rate of 0.11 during this decade. The MTI showed a decreasing trend, which indicates exploitation of marine resources. The FiB index also showed a downward trend and negative values from 2002 to 2009, which may be associated with unbalanced structure in the fisheries, but an upward trend from 2009 to 2011. The time variation of the landing profile showed two periods with significant differences in their species composition (R=0.88; P=0.005), and based on analysis of similarity, species have been identified as discriminator species, namely Thunnus albacores and Benthosema pterotum. Results indicate that changes in MTI reflected changes in the Hormuzgan landing structure. The examination of the MTI, FBI, and landing profile (LP) temporal pattern suggests that the status of fishery resources in Hormuzgan inshore waters is overexploited, and provides evidence of the probability that a fishing down process is occurring in this area, and that this trend may continue in the long-term. Therefore, environmental fisheries management and conservation programs should be prioritized for these valuable resources.
Key words:    fishing-in-balance index|trophic level|landings|Hormuzgan|Persian Gulf   
Received: 2015-11-19   Revised: 2015-12-16
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