The effect of Peruvian small-scale fisheries on sunfishes (Molidae)

Jeffrey C. Mangel, Mariela Pajuelo, Andrea Pasara-Polack, German Vela, Eduardo Segura-Cobeña, Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto

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5 Scopus citations


Reports were compiled of sunfish (family Molidae) by-catch in Peruvian small-scale fisheries and sunfish by-catch rates were estimated using data from shore-based and onboard monitoring programmes. A total of 114 sunfishes were reported in the longline and gillnet fisheries along the Peru coast from 2005 to 2017. Systematic monitoring effort of small-scale gillnets leads to an estimate of between 23 and 352 individuals captured annually by the fleet fishing from the northern port of Salaverry and central ports of Ancon and Chorrillos and suggests that the actual number captured by the Peruvian gillnet fleet is in the thousands of individuals. Thus, Peruvian small-scale fisheries have the potential to greatly affect populations of these still poorly studied species. Moreover, new occurrence locations are reported for the newly described Mola tecta, which was only observed south of 11° S. Because of physical similarities among Mola species it was difficult to identify sunfishes to the species level and thus further studies (e.g., genetics) will be required to provide more detailed information on individual species vulnerability to by-catch in Peruvian waters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Masturus lanceolatus
  • Mola
  • Mola tecta
  • Molidae fishes
  • by-catch
  • south-east Pacific Ocean


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