Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Spain Trawlers cephalopods fishery - Guinean waters
Fishery  Fact Sheet
CECAF Fisheries Reports 2011
Spain Trawlers cephalopods fishery - Guinean waters
Fact Sheet Citation  
Chalutiers Espagnols céphalopodiers
Owned byFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – more>>
Fishery life cycleThis fishery terminated on 2008.

Overview: Gears utilized by these freezer trawlers could be prepared either with chains (Spanish trawl) or with bobbins in the footrope (Korean trawl). The preservation of catches was frozen, what allowed longer trips with an average duration of 50 to 60 days at sea. Most common cephalopod species exploited in this fishing ground was cuttlefish (Sepia spp). The end of the Agreement in December 2008, mean the closure of this fisheries, as the new Agreement signed in 2009 have not set up fishing opportunities to this fleet.

Location of Spain Trawlers cephalopods fishery - Guinean 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; Atlantic, East …

Seasonality: All year long

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Cuttlefishes nei; Common octopus
Associated Species: European squid; Senegalese hake; Benguela hake …  

Means of Production
Vessel Type: Stern trawlers freezer
Fishery Indicators
Nominal Effort: Number of vessels
Participation: Number of fishermen
Production: Catch O. vulgaris

The Spanish cephalopods trawlers fishery started in Guinea in 1986. This fleet operated in Guinean waters into the framework of fishery agreements between the Republic of Guinea and the European Union, regularly renovated.

In 1990, the fleet was constituted by 27 vessels, but progressively diminished until only 1 vessel in 1994. The number of vessels oscillated between 1 and 4 during the period 2002-2004.
Fishing Activity
Type of production system: Commercial; Industrial   

Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Tropical.   Depth zone: Shelf (50 m - 200 m).   Horizontal distribution: Neritic.   Vertical distribution: Demersal/Benthic.  

Geo References for: Guinea

The Guinean EEZ is located in the inter-tropical zone and it is subjected to the existence of two main seasons that depend on the winds and rainfalls regimes (Morize, 1997). The Guinean continental shelf is seasonally impacted by several processes that contribute to its enrichment. On one hand, the north western area is influenced by waters from the Mauritanian-Senegalese upwelling system, induced by different water masses supplied by the Canary Current and the trade winds, that leads to a high biotic production during the dry season. This upwelling is very active in the North from January to May, but weakens from June to November. On the other hand, the coastal area is influenced by terrigenous supplies transported by rain, after being reshuffled or not in the mangroves (Morize, 1997; Colomb & Le Fur, 2002; Diallo et al., 2004). Both enrichment processes contribute to a high biological diversity and important biomasses of plankton, invertebrates and commercial fishes (Diallo et al., 2004). The great extensions of mangrove areas, the rain intensity and the alternation of the dry and rainy seasons are the main factors contributing the concentration of great fish richness in the coastal fringe between 0 and 12 miles (Domain, 1989; Fontana and Morize, 1995).
Resources Exploited
Cephalopods - Guinea
Common cuttlefish - Guinea
Other resources: Cuttlefish and octopus stocks of Guinea, stocks of european squid, hakes, soles and seabreams.
Vessel Type
Stern trawlers freezer
Flag State

Average characteristics were 30 m length, 249 GRT and 900 h.p.
Catch Handling and Processing Equipment
17 persons (2009)
Fleet segment
Bottom otter trawl for cephalopods with minimum mesh size of 70 mm
Fishing Gear
Single boat bottom otter trawls
Gears could be prepared either with chains (Spanish trawl) or with bobbins in the footrope (Korean trawl).
All year long
Trip Duration
50 to 60 days at sea
La Luz, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands) and Dakar (Senegal)
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
Nominal EffortNumber of vessels 5vessels2007
ParticipationNumber of fishermen 85persons2009
ProductionCatch O. vulgaris200tonnes1990-2001
Post Harvest
Fish Utilisation
Consumption and exportation
EU and Japan
Management unit: No

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Ministère de la Pêche et de l'Aquaculture
Mandate: Management; Control and surveillance.  
Area under national jurisdiction: Guinea
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
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Legal definition
Finfish and cephalopod trawlers
Management Regime
Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Guinea for the period 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2008 (OJ L 127, 29.04.2004, p. 31-32). Management measures of the Spanish cephalopods trawlers fishery were included in the Fishery Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Guinea (OJ L 127, 29.04.2004, p. 31-32), into the fishing category: “finfish and cephalopod trawlers”.
Management Methods

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

  • Aquatic species-related measures
    Limitation of by-catches: 9% crustaceans and 35% finfish of the total catches
  • Gear-related measures
    Mesh size (minimum 70 mm)
  • Vessel-related measures
    Access control: Vessel size (844 GRT per month, averaged over the year, for Spain, in 2008,)
  • Fishing activity-related measures
    Access by nationality, licences (renewable licences, for periods of 3, 6 or 12 months), vessel number (844 GRT per month, averaged over the year, for Spain, in 2008,) and closed area (in waters into 10 nautical miles from the coast-line).
Related Fisheries - Fishing activity(ies) managed under the same management unit or being ruled by the same fishing agreement
Spain Freezer bottom trawl shrimp fishery - Guinean waters
Status and Trends
The fishery was closed at the end of the Agreement in 2008. The last fishing agreement signed with Guinea in 2009 does not contemplate this fishery.
Source of Information
Balguerías, E., M.E. Quintero and C.L. Hernández-González, 2000. The origin of the Saharan Bank cephalopod fishery. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 57: 15–23.
Balguerías, C.L. Hernández-González and C. Perales-Raya, 2002. On the identity of Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797 stocks in the Saharan bank (northwest Africa) and their spatio-temporal variations in abundance in relation to some environmental factors. Bulletin of Marine Science, 71(1): 147–163.
Colomb, A. and J. Le Fur, 2002. Revue des connaissances sur l’environment des resources halieutiques de Guinée. Actes du symposium intrenational, Dakar /Senegal), 24-28 juin 2002. Pp: 399-404.
Diallo, I., I. Cissé and A. Bah, 2004. Modèle trophique du système côtier du plateau continental guinéen. In: West African Marine Ecosystems: models and fisheries impacts. Ed: Palomares and Pauly. Fisheries Centre Research Reports 12(7). Pp: 113-123.
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).
Fontana, A. and E. Morize, 1995. Projet Protection et surveillance des pêches de la ZEE guinéenne (Volet scientifique), Rapport de fin d'étude. Références: Convention République de Guinée-Caisse Française de Développement du 18 décembre 1991, Convention: Ministère guinéen de l'Agriculture - ORSTOM du 30 juin 1992.
Morize, E., 1997. Environnement hydro-climatique de la ZEE Guineenne et influence sur la ressource et son exploitation. In : Contribition a l’etude des ressources halieutiques de la ZEE Guineanne et a leur exploitation.Centre National des Sciences Halieutiques de Boussoura. Document Scientifique Nº 29. Pp: 1-22.
Official Journal of the European Union, 2004. Protocol setting out fishing possibilities and the financial compensations established by the Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Government of the Republic of Guinea on fishing in deep waters off the Guinean coast for the period from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2008. OJ L 127, 29.04.2004, p. 31-32.
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