African Journal of Marine Science

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Assessing the suitability of commercial fisheries data for local-scale marine spatial planning in South Africa

R Chalmers, A Oosthuizen, A Götz, A Paterson, WHH Sauer


This study integrates fisheries logbook data with observer and vessel monitoring system (VMS) data in order to assess the accuracy of reported data and to develop high-resolution spatial data suitable for use in local-scale marine spatial planning analyses. Spatial assessments were conducted on five nearshore commercial fisheries to provide baseline information to inform spatial management and conservation planning in Algoa Bay, South Africa. Clear spatial patterns in the distribution of fishing effort were apparent for the linefishery, chokka-squid and inshore demersal trawl sectors. Observer and VMS data confirmed the broad spatial distribution of resource-use patterns of logbook data. Combining these data sources allowed higher-resolution spatial indices of fishing effort to be developed, which are suitable for systematic spatial planning on a local scale and can be used for future spatial management and conservation.

Keywords: chokka-squid, conservation planning, demersal trawl, linefish, logbooks, observer data, shark longline, small pelagic, vessel monitoring system

African Journal of Marine Science 2014, 36(4): 467–480
AJOL African Journals Online