Comparing spatial management tools to protect highly migratory shark species in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea hot spots

Shiri Zemah-Shamir, Ziv Zemah-Shamir, Yoav Peled, Ole Johannes Ringnander Sørensen, Inbar Schwartz Belkin, Michelle E. Portman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Bycatch of non-target species is a pressing problem for ocean management. It is one of the most concerning issues related to human-wildlife interactions and it affects numerous species including sharks, seabirds, sea turtles, and many critically endangered marine mammals. This paper compares different policy tools for ocean closure management around a unique shark aggregation site in Israel's nearshore coastal waters. We provide a set of recommendations based on an optimal management approach that allows humans to enjoy marine recreational activities such as fishing, while maintaining safe conditions for these apex predators which are vital to the local marine ecosystem. To learn more about recreational fishers' derived benefits, we use a benefit transfer method. Our main conclusion is that dynamic time-area closures offer sustainable and effective management strategies. Since these closures are based on near real-time data, they might successfully preserve specific species in limited areas (i.e., small areas).

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number117691
    JournalJournal of Environmental Management
    StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    We would like to express our appreciation to Dr. Aviad Scheinin and Mr. Ran Golan for their valuable and constructive suggestions. We would also like to thank our colleagues from Morris Kahn Marine Research Station (University of Haifa, Israel), School of Sustainability (Reichman University, Israel), and the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning (Technion, Israel) for their help and support to establish this multidisciplinary manuscript.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2023 Elsevier Ltd


    • Bycatch mitigation
    • Dynamic ocean management (DOM)
    • Marine spatial planning
    • Recreational fishers
    • Sharks
    • Time-area closures

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Engineering
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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