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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1834/959

Title: Long-term Trends in Coral Reef Fish Yields and Exploitation Rates of Commercial Species from Coastal Kenya
Authors: Kaunda-Arara, B.
Rose, G.A.
Muchiri, M.S.
Kaka, R.
ASFA Terms: Coral reefs
Reef fish
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: WIOMSA
Citation: Western Indian Ocean J. Mar. Sci., 2 (2), p. 105-116
Abstract: Analysis of long-term (1978–2001) marine fisheries data showed that Kenyan coralreefs produced an estimated 2–4 metric t/km2/year of demersal fish. A rapid overall decline in landings occurred during the 1990s. Yields (t/km2/year) showed bimodal peaks in 1982 (2.98) and 1991 (2.90). The average total landings dropped by 55% during the last decade following peak landings in 1982. Landings of the commercially important families (e.g., Siganidae, Lethrinidae, Lutjanidae and Serranidae) declined by about 40% during the last decade, with the groupers (Serranidae) showing the steepest (72%) decline. Analysis of landings per administrative district showed a 78% decline in the densely populated Mombasa district between the periods 1983–1991 and 1992–2001. The less populated districts have registered stable (e.g., Kilifi) to increasing (e.g., Kwale) catches over time. An autoregressive moving average (ARIMA) model forecast of landings predicted a gradual decline in catches during the next decade (2002– 2011) with a trend slope of -0.01 t/km2. Length-frequency analysis for the commercially important species indicated above optimum exploitation (E) and fishing mortality (per year) rates for the sky emperor, Lethrinus mahsena (E = 0.64; F = 2.48) and lower but strong rates for the emperor, L. sangueinus (E=0.51; F=0.93). The more abundant and commercially important whitespotted rabbitfish, Siganus sutor, showed equally strong rates (E= 0.56; F = 1.44/year). A precautionary approach in the management of Kenya’s coral-reef fisheries is recommended. INTRODUCTION Fishing is the dominant extractive activity in Oceania and an important source of income and sustenance in coastal communities worldwide. However, in the past decade many marine fisheries resources have declined (FAO, 1995). Although ocean climate variation has likely played an important role in many regional declines (Lauck et al., 1998; Drinkwater & Mountain, 2002), the most important factor has been overfishing (Pauly & Christensen, 1995; Hutchings, 2000; Rose et al., 2000). The effects of fishing have been the subject of recent reviews (Jennings & Polunin, 1996; Jennings & Kaiser, 1998). Growth overfishing reduces the size and yield of target species
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1834/959
ISSN: 0856-860X
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