Exploitation status and stock assessment of the smooth clam Callista chione (Linnaeus, 1758) in the northern Alboran Sea (GSA01-W Mediterranean Sea)
RUEDA, JOSE LUIS
Junta de Andalucia (Spain)
The smooth clam, Callista chione (Linnaeus, 1758), is a venerid bivalve widely appreciated in southern Spain where it represents the top commercial bivalve species in terms of landings and economic value. In this area, a total of 223 artisanal boats (68% of the artisanal fleet) are involved in shellfishing targeting bivalve molluscs, including the smooth clam. The artisanal mechanised dredging that targets C. chione in the northern Alboran Sea is described and the current exploitation status of its populations is analysed. A surplus-production model was run using ASPIC and used to assess the temporal variation in the levels of fishing for this bivalve throughout the study period (2002-2015), as well as to suggest conservation reference points that could guarantee the sustainable exploitation of this resource. During the study period, the maximum C. chione catch was registered in 2003 (306 t) and the minimum in 2006 (93 t). The ASPIC model for C. chione stock suggests that a Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) of 216 t could be produced from a total stock biomass of 983 t (Bmsy) at a fishing mortality rate of total biomass of 0.22 (Fmsy), with B/Bmsy and F/Fmsy values of 1.34 and 0.82, respectively, indicating that the stock is approaching good status.