Immediate Effect of Clam Harvesting on Intertidal Benthic Communities in the Mudflat Zones of Kneiss Islands (Central Mediterranean Sea)
- *Corresponding Author:
- Jean-Claude Dauvin
Normandie Univ, Unicaen, Unirouen
UMR M2C, CNRS 6143, 24 rue des Tilleuls
14000 Caen, France
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: July 22, 2016; Accepted date: November 08, 2016; Published date: November 10, 2016
Citation: Mosbahi N, Pezy JP, Dauvin JC, Neifar L (2016) Immediate Effect of Clam Harvesting on Intertidal Benthic Communities in the Mudflat Zones of Kneiss Islands (Central Mediterranean Sea). J Aquac Res Development 7:454. doi: 10.4172/2155-9546.1000454
Copyright: © 2016 Mosbahi N, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The Gulf of Gabès in southern Tunisia shows the highest tidal ranges of the Mediterranean Sea. During spring tides, the very large intertidal sand and mudflat zone is exploited for clam harvesting, mainly targeted on the species Ruditapes spp. mainly Ruditapes decussatus by Linnaeus in 1758. To assess the short-term impact of clam harvesting on the intertidal macrobenthos of the Kneiss Islands mudflats, a control-impact study was set up in September and December 2013 using a BACI (Before-After-Control-Impact) design, with a control station and eight stations fished for clams. Significant decreases in total macrofauna, benthic polychaetes (mainly Nephtyidae, Eunicidae, Spionidae, Maldanidae, Sabellidae and Cirratulidae) and R. decussatus were observed from before to after the harvesting initiated. In the future, it would be very important to control this human activity, due to its negative impact on the surrounding macrofauna, which represent essential prey for fishes and birds living in this protected area.