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Article Title

Abundance and Importance of Fish Species from the Artisanal Fishery on the Pacific Coast of Northern Baja California

Authors

Abstract

The artisanal fishery from Baja California, Mexico is conducted from small boats in nearshore waters, and from fishing camps located along the coast. This activity is important due to the volume and the number of fish species captured. In this study we describe the seasonal abundance of catches from 51 boats in 1994, and the importance of the species landed at eight sites along the northwestern coast of Baja California, from Santo Tomas to south to Punta Canoas. Sixteen fish species were identified from 2,490 individuals and with a biomass of 2,682.7 kg. The highest catches were recorded in Summer and Fall, and the lowest in Winter. The seasonal mean catch per boat was similar and lowest during Spring (42.1 fish/boat ±SE 7.9) and highest in Summer (52.1 fish/boat ±6.7), followed closely (50.3 and 50.1 fish/boat) by Fall and Winter, respectively. The most important fish species according to the Index of Community Importance were the rockfishes (Sebastes sp.), whitefish (Caulolatilus princeps), sheephead {Semicossyphus pulcher), and kelp bass (Paralabrax clathratus). All these can be considered the target species, and also important to sportfishing. San Quintfn contributed 35% of the boat trips and 37.5% of the total catch.