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African Journal of Marine Science

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DISTRIBUTION PATTERNS OF KEY FISH SPECIES OF THE SOUTHERN BENGUELA ECOSYSTEM: AN APPROACH COMBINING FISHERY-DEPENDENT AND FISHERY-INDEPENDENT DATA

L PECQUERIE, L DRAPEAU, P FRÉON, J C COETZEE, R W LESLIE, M H GRIFFITHS

Abstract


Within the context of an ecosystem approach for fisheries, there is a need for quantitative information on distributions of key marine species. This information is valuable input for modelling species interactions in the southern Benguela ecosystem. In the present study, a method is described for mapping the density distribution of 15 key species: anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus, sardine Sardinops sagax, round herring Etrumeus whiteheadi, chub mackerel Scomber japonicus, horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus capensis, lanternfish Lampanyctodes hectoris, lightfish Maurolicus muelleri, albacore Thunnus alalunga, bigeye tuna Thunnus obesus, yellowfin tuna Thunnus albacares, silver kob Argyrosomus inodorus, snoek Thyrsites atun, Cape hake Merluccius spp., kingklip Genypterus capensis and chokka squid Loligo vulgaris reynaudi. The purpose was to make use of all available sources of data to extend the spatial and temporal coverage of the southern Benguela. Six sources of data were combined on a 10´ × 10´ cell grid in a Geographical Information System: acoustic and demersal surveys conducted by Marine and Coastal Management (MCM), and pelagic, demersal (including midwater trawl), hake-directed and tuna-directed longline commercial landings data collected by MCM. Comparisons of distributions between two periods (1980s and 1990s) and between two semesters (April –September and October–March) were conducted, but biases as a result of major differences in sampling strategy prevented detailed analysis for certain species. Maps of density distributions are nevertheless presented here and the method to determine them is discussed.

Afr. J. mar. Sci. 26: 115–139



http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/18142320409504053
AJOL African Journals Online