Developing Deep-water Fisheries: data for their assessment and for understanding their interaction with and impact on a fragile environment.This research project was the first project of IMBR targeted to study the deep-water resources and their fishery in the Greek waters. It was carried out in a restricted area of the southern part of the Ionian Sea from 1996 to 1998. The objectives of the project were (1) to describe the deep-water fisheries of Greece, (2) to analyse the deep-water species data and collate them with those from previous surveys of IMBR, (3) to study the discards from deep-water bottom trawl experimental fishery, (4) to sample the landings of the red seabream (P. bogaraveo) and (5) to study the biological parameters of the most important deep-water resources in the area. The main results of this project are cited below:
Significant quantities of fish and crustaceans were found during trawl surveys in waters deeper than 300 m. The catch of crustaceans consisted mainly of commercial species and the quantity was enough to support a commercial fishery (PETRAKIS & PAPACONSTANTINOU, 1997; PETRAKIS et al., 1999b). The most important commercial crustaceans were the red shrimp A. foliacea and the blue and red shrimp, A. antennatus; the latter less abundant than the first one.
The study of discards, based on three categories of the catch, the commercial, non-commercial and possibly commercial species, showed that the commercial part of the catch (by weight) was higher in the 500-750 m than the 300-500 m depth zone (MYTILINEOU et al., 1999).
The study of P. bogaraveo gill net fishery showed that the commercial catch by number consisted almost exclusively (90%) by that species. More information concerning this species is included in PETRAKIS et al. (1999c).
The results from the study of the length composition, monthly catch per unit effort variation, mean length relationship with depth, number and weight of individuals with depth, length-weight relationship, maturity, sex ratio, age, growth and mortality of the target species are presented in PETRAKIS et al. (1999b), KAPIRIS et al. (1999), KAPIRIS & THESSALOU-LEGAKI (2001; 2002), PAPACON-STANTINOU & KAPIRIS (2001; 2003), KAPIRIS (2004a), ANASTASOPOULOU (2005), ANASTASOPOULOU & PAPACONSTANTINOU (2006). [DG/XII-XIV/EU/FAIR CT95/655]