Ecological and economic considerations on fishing and rearing of Tapes phillipinarum in the lagoon of Venice.
A population dynamic model for Tapes philippinarum has been developed, using experimental data for the estimation of mortality, and literature information for recruitment. The population dynamic model has been coupled to a eco-physiological model of T. philippinarum previously developed, in order to simulate the evolution of individual size and number of individuals in each age class. The resulting age-size class model has been used to analyse the implication of different scenarios of fishing/harvesting of the bivalve in the lagoons of the Northern Adriatic Sea, where fishery and aquaculture represent important economic activities. Ten years long simulations have been performed, in which initial density, harvesting efficiency, minimum harvested size, were varied. Comparisons between the different strategies are made in term of total yields and bio-economic income. The model gives suggestions on the optimal fishing effort, in case of fishery, and on optimal seeding size and seeding moment, in case of aquaculture. A discussion of model results provides 7 indications on harvesting policies which are appropriate from ecological-economical point of view. The final result is that economically more profitable strategies coincide with ecologically more conservative policies.