Otter trawls in Greece: Landing profiles and potential mιtiers
A fleet of 326 bottom trawlers operate in Greek Seas and their landings represent approximately 30% of the total fish production in Greece. In this study, otter trawl landings data were analyzed in order to identify potential métiers. Landings data between 2002 and 2006 were used, collected from 42 ports in the Aegean and East Ionian Sea. A three-step procedure was applied to identify potential métiers: the first step involved a factorial analysis of the log-transformed landings profiles, the second step a classification of the factorial coordinates, and the third step a further aggregation of clusters based on expert knowledge. In all, six potential métiers were identified in the Aegean Sea, and five in the Ionian Sea. The most important target species were European hake (Merluccius merluccius), deepwater pink shrimp (Parapenaeus longirostris), red mullet (Mullus barbatus), caramote prawn (Melicertus kerathurus), picarel (Spicara smaris), cephalopods, bogue (Boops boops), anglers (Lophiusspp.), and Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus). Otter trawls in Greece use more or less the same gear with minor modification, and métier selection is basically reflected as a choice of geographical sub-area and hauling depth. The limitations of using landings profiles to identify métiers and the need for further verification are discussed.