Benthonic Resources Management Areas

Updated: Tuesday January 9th, 2018
January 9th, 2018 IFOP


Since 1997, the benthonic resources management areas (AMERB) have been a measure of administration, characterized by a government-user Co-management of benthic fisheries resources. AMERB´s are destined to be used by artisanal organizations in an effort to meager historical results and to modify and reverse the condition of overexploitation of benthic fisheries. In this system, artisanal fishing organizations, develop an area management plan, based on technical elements derived from studies by consulting firms, which must reconcile the conservation of the fishery resources with the economic benefits from their exploitation. The Fisheries Development Institute’s mission is to develop and provide the technical background and the scientific basis for the regulation of fisheries and the conservation of their aquatic resources and ecosystems, being recognized as the technical leader in fisheries research applied to the sustainable use of aquatic resources. After IFOP contributed to the conceptual and methodological basis of current studies Situation Base (ESBA) and Plans of Management and Exploitation (PMEA) of AMERB, through the implementation of the project “Management Module IV Artisanal Fisheries in region “between 1989 and 1991, in addition to numerous evaluations in management areas throughout the country, FIFG running since 2006 the project” Research Situation under Fisheries management Areas Scheme “under the Advisory Agreement Integral to the Decision Making in Fisheries and Aquaculture with the Undersecretary of Fisheries, which has continued a new stage in the development of AMERB, already operational and in increasing numbers across the country, generated on the needs of monitoring and generation comprehensive technical quality information for performance evaluation AMERB, assessment management system corrections and consolidation of management measure.

The need for an integrated approach

AMERB´s translate into units of management and use of benthic resources under an ecosystem vision, built upon a natural production of assessed resource stocks of commercial interest to fishermen, that considers a biological assessment with dependency relationships between species in the area. The concept of implicit administration states that when you consider and have knowledge of these interdependencies, the use and sustainability of fisheries resources can be improved by creating a management plan that reconciles both the conservation of exploited populations and its economic retribution for the care and use of these by artisanal fisheries organizations. The assumptions underlying stock assessments of the main species in each area, such as the establishment of a closed population, zero migration process and the stock-recruit partnership, do not always correspond to a spatial structure distribution in many based aggregated benthic resources, including those of major economic interest, such as loco (conchalepas conchalepas) and sea urchin, which could correspond to structures characterized by a spatial and temporal connection between different aggregations (interdependence between different “banks” in the recruitment process). This analysis deficiency, difficults a resource status diagnosis. Performance evaluation of management areas require consideration of bio-fishing, community (ecological) and socio-economic variables. This constitutes a complex scenario as these variables are not explicitly integrated into the implementation of benthic fisheries management policies. Stakeholders (fishermen, researchers, managers and business owners) face difficulties in carrying out the evaluations performance, due to the lack of information (partial), given the context of spatial discretization generated by the AMERB management system.

Impact of benthonic resources management areas

  • Since 2006 the AMERB Fisheries monitoring project has considered the following areas and activities:

Biological – Fisheries:

  • Generate a historical database that integrates data supporting evaluation studies of AMERB.
  • Proposed standards for field data gathered by benthonic resources management area consultants.
  • Generation of meso spatial scales analysis for AMERB main fishery. Independent direct AMERB resource assessments.
  • Evaluation of ecological communities in representative AMERBs.
  • Training of artisanal organizations to carry out monitoring of resource extraction.
  • Fixed network stations to monitor Loco recruiting.
  • Bibliographic evaluation of AMERB´s fishery certification potential.
  • Provision of AMERB fishing indicators via web.


  • Updated description of AMERB resources historical market indicators behavior.
  • Direct data collection to describe the economic performance of AMERBs.


  • Evaluation of the quality and availability of social information generated by the AMERB system.
  • Selection of social indicators to the field of the fisheries manager.
  • Analysis of the information derived from the first fisheries and aquaculture census conducted by the National Statistics Institute (INE) and the association between the economic status of AMERB fishermen and their territorial environment.



  • Pilot monitoring of oceanographic stations associated with AMERB recruitment and production monitoring in the country´s northern central coast.


  • Hydrodynamic modeling associated to different areas of loco recruitment and production in AMERB.


IFOP and benthonic resources management areas


The Table summarizes the main technical aspects developed (annual periods) for AMERB Fisheries Monitoring.