Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Spain Freezer bottom trawl shrimp fishery - Guinea Bissau waters
Fishery  Fact Sheet
CECAF Fisheries Reports 2011
Spain Freezer bottom trawl shrimp fishery - Guinea Bissau waters
Fact Sheet Citation  
Arrastões congelador espanhóis de camarao
Owned byFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – more>>
Fishery life cycleThis fishery terminated on 2011.

Overview: The Spanish freezer shrimper fleet in Guinea-Bissau has oscillated and the number of vessels has been reduced along the years. Thus, in 1987, 37 vessels operated in these waters, this number diminishing until year 1997 with no fishery in the area because of the civil war. The fishery re-started in 1998, with one single vessel. Since then, the number of vessels has oscillated between a maximum of 23 in 1999 and a minimum of 12 in 2006 and 2007. The target species of this fishery is the deep water rose shrimp P. longirostris, which has constituted more than the 70% of the catches in the last ten years. The second species in the catches is the striped red shrimp A. varidens, with 14%. The southern pink shrimp F. notialis only account for the 5%, and the rest of species are represented in very small proportions.

Location of Spain Freezer bottom trawl shrimp fishery - Guinea Bissau waters

Geographic reference:  Spain
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2011
Approach: Fishing Activity

Fishing Activity
Fishing Gear: Single boat bottom otter trawls  

Type of production system: Commercial; Industrial
Fishery Area: Guinea Bissau; Guinea-Bissau; Atlantic, East …

Seasonality: All year long, …

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Deep-water rose shrimp
Associated Species: Striped red shrimp; Southern pink shrimp; West African geryon

Means of Production
Vessel Type: Stern trawlers freezer
Fishery Indicators
Nominal Effort: Number of vessels
Participation: Number of fishermen
Production: Catch total; Catch P. longirostris; Catch A. varidens

The shelf of Guinea-Bissau, extended between Cape Roxo and Santa Ana has an extension of approximately 60 miles in its southern area. This constitutes de wider shelf in West Africa, fact that has favored the presence of foreign fleets during decades. Spanish fleet was one the fist established in Guinea-Bissau during the ‘60s. Since1986, part of the Spanish freezer bottom trawl shrimp fleet has operated in the EEZ of Guinea-Bissau with European Community licences for “shrimper trawlers”. There have been several EU-Guinea Bissau Fishery Agreements during this period, with more restrictive conditions for the fishery along the time.
Fishing Activity
Type of production system: Commercial; Industrial   

Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Tropical.   Bottom type: Soft bottom.   Depth zone: Shelf (50 m - 200 m); Slope (200 m - 1000 m).   Horizontal distribution: Neritic.   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geo References for: Guinea Bissau

The marine environment of Guinea-Bissau is characterized by one of the largest continental shelves in the region, approximately, consisting of large shallow areas, large river run-off and extensive mangrove forests lining the mainland coastline and that of the Bijagós Archipelago. The coastal areas are characterized by strong currents and occasional strong winds. The Guinea-Bissau ecosystem, located at the southern limit of the Canary Current System and the western limit of the Gulf of Guinea System, is characterized by strong seasonal variations of oceanographic conditions (Berrit and Rebert, 1977). From January to February the continental shelf is marked by upwelling events. Characteristically warm and salty tropical waters dominate from May to June. With the progression of the rainy season, the intrusion of warm, low salinity inner waters tends to dominate. As a result of upwelling events and the input of organic matter from river run-off, primary productivity is relatively high in the area (Berrit and Rebert, 1977). There is a seasonal variability of the ecosystem, including a higher productivity during the dry season (Domain, 1982). The biota have adopted strategies compatible with this variability, as reflected, e.g., in feeding migrations of fish along the coast and the reproductive migration of shrimp into estuaries following the cycle of wet and dry seasons.
Vessel Type
Stern trawlers freezer
Flag State

Average characteristics during the period 1999-2006 were 27 m length, 113 GRT and 504 h.p.

Catch Handling and Processing Equipment
Freezing. Shrimps are classified onboard in 8 commercial categories depending on their size (from 0 to 8)
15-18 persons (Spanish. Mauritanian and Senegalese nationalities) (2009)
Fleet segment
Bottom otter trawl targeting crustaceans with minimum 40 mm mesh size

The fleet is exclusively composed of freezer shrimper trawlers, based at the Port of Huelva (SW Spain).
Fishing Gear
Single boat bottom otter trawls

These shrimpers usually alternate the use of outriggers and the classic bottom otter trawl with trawl doors (“baka” type), depending on the target species. Thus, outriggers are used to fish P. longirostris and F. notialis, usually during daylight hauls, while the classic bottom otter trawl with trawl doors is employed for a deeper fishery, especially targeting A. varidens and C. maritae in deep hauls usually made at night.

All year long, some vessels combining Guinea-Bissau with other fishing grounds
Trip Duration
30-90 fishing days
Huelva (SW Spain)
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
Nominal EffortNumber of vessels 14vessels2008
ParticipationNumber of fishermen 200-250persons2008
ProductionCatch total829tonnes2004-2008
Catch P. longirostris564tonnes2004-2008
Catch A. varidens129tonnes2004-2008
Post Harvest
Fish Utilisation
Wholesale and exportation
Huelva (SW Spain)
Management unit: No

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Ministère de la Pêche et de l’Economie Maritime
Mandate: Management.  
Area under national jurisdiction: Guinea-Bissau
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Body/Authority(ies): European Union
Mandate: Flag state responsibility for its fishing vessels operating in foreign area under national jurisdiction.  
Area under national jurisdiction: Guinea-Bissau
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Legal definition
Shrimp trawlers
Management Regime
Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau for the period 16 June 2007 to 15 June 2011 (OJ L 342, 27.12.2007, p. 10–75). Management measures of the Spanish crustacean trawlers fishery are included in the current Fishery Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau (OJ L 342, 27.12.2007, p. 10–75) under the fishing category 2 “Shrimp trawlers”.

This fishing agreement expired in June 2011 and has not been renewed.
Management Methods

Conservation and management measures with focus on Effort control (licences system) and catch control

  • Aquatic species-related measures
    Limitation of by-catches: 50% of fishes and cephalopods by fishing trip
  • Gear-related measures
    Gear type (doubling of the cod-end’s netting yarn, whether single or multiple, prohibited; methods or devices may be used to seek to obstruct the mesh of the nets or reduce their selective effect prohibited) and mesh size (minimum 40 mm).
  • Vessel-related measures
    Access control: Vessel size (maximum 1 421 GT authorized tonnage per year)
  • Fishing activity-related measures
    Vessel number (1 421 GT authorized tonnage per year) and closed area (out of the fishing area established by the Agreement).
Related Fisheries - Fishing activity(ies) managed under the same management unit or being ruled by the same fishing agreement
Spain Trawlers cephalopods fishery - Guinea Bissau waters
Status and Trends
The yields of the target species, P. longirostris, have kept relatively stable during the last ten years. An increase in yields and catches has been detected in 2008.
Source of Information
Berrit, G.R. and J.P Rebert, 1977. Océanographie physique et productivité primaire. In: G.R. Berri (ed.) Le milieu marin de la Guinée Bissau et ses ressources vivates. Pp :1-60. ORSTOM, Paris.
Domain, F., 1982. Répartition de la biomasse globale du benthos sur le plateau continental ouest africain de 17ºN á 12ºN: densités comparées liées aux differents types de fond. Rapp. P.-v. Reun. J. Cons. int. Explor. Mer 180:335-336.
FAO, 2005. Report of the FAO/CECAF Working Group on the Assessment of Demersal resources- Subgroup South. Cotonou, Benin, 13-21 September 2005. CECAF/ECAF Series. FAO. Roma (in press).
FAO, 2006. Report of the FAO/CECAF Working Group on the Assessment of Demersal resources. Conakry, Guinea, 19-29 September 2003. CECAF/ECAF Series 06/67. FAO. Rome: 357 pp.
FAO, 2008. Report of the FAO/CECAF Working Group on the Assessment of Demersal resources- Subgroup South. Freetown, Sierra Leona, 6-18 October 2008. CECAF/ECAF Series. FAO. Roma (in press).
Official Journal of the European Union, 2007. Fisheries partnership agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau for the period 16 June 2007 to 15 June 2011. OJ L 342, 27.12.2007, p. 10–75).
Sobrino, I. y T. García, 1992. Análisis y descripción de las pesquerías españolas de crustáceos decápodos en aguas de la República de Guinea Bissau durante el periodo 1987-1991. Inf. Téc. Inst. Esp. Oceanogr. 135: 38 pp.
powered by FIGIS  © FAO, 2021
Powered by FIGIS