Gastropods and bivalves taken as by-catch in the deep-water shrimp trawl-fishery along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Central America
Villalobos Rojas, Fresia
Azofeifa Solano, Juan Carlos
Camacho García, Yolanda E.
Wehrtmann, Ingo S.
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Deep-water habitats are among the least studied but most vulnerable environments. By-catch data from deep-water fisheries in Latin America are limited, and detailed reports on associated molluscs are scarce. This study provides information on deep-water shelled molluscs collected between 2010 and 2011 by commercial shrimp trawling fisheries along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica at depths from 112 to 271 m. Twenty-six species were identified, 23 gastropods and three bivalves. Our data extend the depth range of 14 species, and Homalopoma cf. grippii is reported for the first time for Costa Rica. The most common species were the gastropods Fusinus spectrum, Polystira nobilis and Solenosteira gatesi. Only one species (Sinum debile) was captured below 250 m. The catch of molluscs per unit effort was influenced by depth, but not by seasonality or geographic area. It is speculated that these long-lasting bottom-trawling activities have caused negative effects on species diversity and mollusc biomass. Nevertheless, a monitoring program is recommended to assess possible impacts of this type of fishery on mollusc diversity and biomass.