IPMA's Olhão Center will monitor bivalve banks from North to South

In the Algarve, the area between VRSA and Albufeira will be focused

Yesterday, the 17th, the Olhão Center of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) began fishing campaigns to monitor bivalve beds along the coast of mainland Portugal.

This survey, which is carried out within the framework of the MOCOBI – Cooperative Monitoring of Bivalves Banks project, funded by Mar2020, covers the three fishing zones (North West, South West, and South), and aims to «assess the conservation status of the banks of bivalves, essential to propose to the Fisheries Administration the fishing quotas to be allocated by species and vessel in 2023/2024".

The campaigns take place aboard the IPMA Research Ship Diplodus, until the 30th of May, in the South Zone (between Vila Real de Santo António and Olhos d'Água, in Albufeira), the 19th and 30th of June, in the South West Zone (between Sines and Costa da Caparica) and 13th and 21st of July, in the North Western Zone (between Matosinhos and Nazaré).

«In order to delimit the banks of commercial species and carry out a survey of bivalve populations, a network of stations defined by profiles perpendicular to the coastline, spaced half a mile apart from each other, was created for each fishing zone. In each profile, 2-4 stations will be sampled, distributed between the bathymetrics of 3 and 35 meters. At each station, two simultaneous hook hauls will be carried out, lasting 5 minutes and at a speed of approximately 2 knots», describes the IPMA.

In total, 1442 samples will be collected, 530 in the South Zone, 374 in the South West Zone and 538 in the North West Zone.