Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Maria Estevanez

Second Committee Member

Liana Talaue-McManus

Third Committee Member

Manoj Shivlani


The spatial characterization of Puerto Rican commercial fisheries describing fishing gear use in relation to habitat classes and bathymetry ranges was achieved through the collection and analysis of spatial fisheries data. An extensive field data gathering session was conducted in the entire Puerto Rican territory during the summer months of 2009, from June to October. The field data was digitized and analyzed using geographic information systems (GIS) and computer spreadsheet software, and gear usage charts and graphs, fishing grounds maps, and fishing intensity maps were produced for four gear categories: line, net, dive, and trap gears. Patterns and evidence of likely relationships linking gear usage and benthic habitat, and between gear utilization and water depth ranges, were presented. The importance of the spatial characterization of the commercial fishery for Puerto Rican fisheries management, and other recommendations were given within the concluding chapter.


spatial characterization; small-scale fisheries; Puerto Rico; geographic information systems; fishing gear usage