Case Study Of Small Pelagic Fish Resources In Northwest Africa
The marine waters off Northwest Africa are very productive because of the active upwelling that takes place at different intensities along the coast and which supports important fish resources (among which the small pelagics are the most abundant). The fishery sector plays an important role in the economies of the different countries of the region. Despite their relatively low commercial value, the pelagic fish are dominating the catches and is important to both the industrial and artisanal sectors. Several assessment studies of these resources have been carried out,and the management recommendations given calls for a control of effort in the mackerel and horsemackerel fisheries, whereas a catch level not to be exceeded has been defined for sardinella. The pelagic stock abundance is highly sensitive to changes in hydroclimatic conditions; however the influence of fishing and environmental factors on the abundance of these stocks is not well understood and hence requires a management that takes this into account. The countries of the region have agreed to put into place measures to better control their fisheries. However, due to a lack of funding and insufficient regional cooperation on this issue, the measures are not yet satisfactory. Recently, there have been some initiatives to promote better management of shared stocks.