The ArtFish project, which took place over the last two years on the Atlantic coast between Nazaré and Viana do Castelo, evaluated species caught by local fishing vessels, which represent almost 80% of the national fishing fleet, involve a large number of fishermen and are relevant on an environmental, socioeconomic and cultural scale.

Local fishing uses vessels up to nine meters long, which operate at sea and inland waters, such as at the mouths of rivers, using gill nets (placed on the surface, suspended by several buoys) and trammel nets (near the bottom) .

According to data disclosed to Lusa, the main fish species caught in the five ports evaluated by ArtFish – Castelo do Neiva and Viana do Castelo (in the same municipality), Angeiras (Matosinhos), Figueira da Foz and Nazaré – include pout, sea bass and sea bream.

Sea bream and sea bass are, according to the study, the only two species present in the catches made in all five places evaluated, although with different quantities: in Viana do Castelo, sea bream is the most fished species (represents about 40% of the total total), followed by sea bass with almost 25%.

The study, which focused on a total of 24 tonnes of fish caught in the five ports in the last two years, points to a reduction in the quantity between 2020 and 2021, either per vessel or per day of fishing.

In addition to the diversity of species, the conclusions of ArtFish point to a fishing activity between spring and autumn, with "low incidence of by-catches and undersized individuals", with the main species caught being "of high commercial value".