African Journal of Marine Science

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The 2004 re-assessment of the South African sardine and anchovy populations to take account of revisions to earlier data and recent record abundances

CL de Moor, DS Butterworth


Hydroacoustic surveys off the coast of South Africa over the early years of the 21st century indicated that both the sardine Sardinops sagax and anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus populations had simultaneously reached record abundances. The South African pelagic fishery is regulated using an Operational Management Procedure (OMP). The OMP in use at that time had been developed using data from the two populations prior to this rapid and substantial increase in abundances. This paper documents the revised assessments that were urgently required to provide a basis to update the OMP. These assessments resulted in a changed perception of the status and productivity of these populations. In particular, estimates of the stock-recruitment relationships and the extent of variation about them, which play a key role in evaluating risk when developing OMPs, altered substantially from estimates derived from earlier assessments.

Keywords: anchovy; assessment; sardine; South Africa; stock recruitment

African Journal of Marine Science 2009, 31(3): 333–348

AJOL African Journals Online