Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Sardine - Southern stock C (26°N to southern limit of species distribution)
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
CECAF Scientific advice 2008
Sardine - Southern stock C (26°N to southern limit of species distribution)
Fact Sheet Citation  
Stock Sud C de sardine - 26°N-extension sud de l'espece
Owned byFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – More
Monitoring periodThis marine resource is reported in FIRMS up to 2007. Subsequently monitored as: Sardine - Northwest Africa
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
FAO Names: en - European pilchard(=Sardine), fr - Sardine commune, es - Sardina europea, ar - سردين أوروبا, zh - 沙丁鱼, ru - Сардина европейская
Geographic extent of Sardine - Southern stock C (26°N to southern limit of species distribution)
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Spatial Scale: Regional
Reference year: 2007
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
Exploitation rateFcur/F0.1= 18%No or low fishing mortality
Abundance levelB/B0.1= 142%Pre-exploitation biomass or high abundance
FAO Categories
Exploitation stateUnderexploited
Habitat and Biology
Bottom type: Unspecified.   Depth zone: Coastal (0 m - 50 m); Shelf - Upper shelf (up to 100 m).   Horizontal distribution: Littoral.   Vertical distribution: Pelagic.  

Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: Shared between nations

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Regional

Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: Yes
Assessment Model
Type:  Biomass-aggregated

The Schaefer logistic production model was used on and Excel spreadsheet (Appendix II) to assess the two stocks, A+B and C. The Working Group produced a forecast of abundance and catch for the next five years following different management scenarios using the same model on another Excel spreadsheet (Appendix II).
Overall Assessment Results

The fit of the model was judged to be satisfactory for the two zones, A+B and C (Figures 2.6.3a and b).

The results for zone C show that estimated biomass in 2007 is well above the target biomass of B0.1 and the current level of exploitation is below F0.1. The Bcur/B0.1 ratio shows that the stock is under-exploited.

             Table 1. Summary of the results of fitting the logistic production model

Stock/Abundance index





Sardine, zone A+B/Nansen





Sardine, zone C/Nansen





Bcur/B0.1: Ratio between the estimated biomass for the last year and the biomass corresponding to F0.1.
Fcur/FSYcur: Ratio between the observed fishing mortality coefficient during the last year of the series and the coefficient that would give a sustainable yield at current biomass levels.
Fcur/FMSY: Ratio between the observed fishing mortality coefficient during the last year of the series and the coefficient giving maximum long term sustainable yield.
Fcur/F0.1: Ratio between the observed fishing mortality coefficient during the last year of the series and F0.


The Working Group proceeded with a projection of catch and abundance over the next five years following different scenarios for each of the stocks A+B and C.

The projections should be considered with a great deal of precaution taking into account the impact of the environment on abundance and stock dynamic. Large variations in abundance could in fact be unrelated to the fishery.

For zone C only one scenario was used, that of maintaining effort at current levels. Catch increases but remains at a relatively weak level compared to F0.1. Abundance increases, stabilising over the following years to a higher level than the target biomass B0.1 (Figure 2.7.1b).

Scientific Advice

Future research

Follow up on last year’s recommendations

  • An improvement in the sampling intensity of the different Moroccan fisheries can be seen in 2007. For Mauritania, even though sampling intensity increased on board the Russian fleet, sampling did not cover the whole year.
  • The recommendation that sardine be measured in total length to the ½ cm below was not respected by a certain sector of the Mauritanian and Senegalese fisheries which continue to measure to the 1 cm below.
  • The programme of exchanges of age reading was continued in 2007.
  • Estimates of abundance indices were continued throughout the whole region in October–December 2007 by the national research vessels.
  • Length frequency analysis with a view to assessment by structural models was not carried out.

Future recommendations

  • Improve sampling of the different fisheries covering all quarters of the year, especially in Mauritania and Senegal.
  • Sardine length should be measured to the ½ cm below for all fisheries.
  • Continue the programme of age reading exchanges.
  • Continue the estimation of abundance indices for the whole region in October–December.
  • Organize a Working Group to analyse the length frequency data.

for Management considerations

The results show that the stock is underexploited. This stock offers the potential to increase catch. However, as a precautionary approach, given the instability noted in pelagic stocks, the structure and abundance of the stock should be continually monitored, independently of the data on commercial catches, so as to be able to adjust levels in case of unforeseen changes in fishing effort.

Source of information
FAO Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic/Comité des pêches pour l’Atlantique Centre-Est. “Assessment of Small Pelagic Fish off Northwest Africa” Saly,Senegal, 6-15 May 2008. “Rapport du Groupe de travail FAO/COPACE sur l’évaluation des principales espèces de petits pélagiques au large de l’Afrique nord-occidentale” Saly, Sénégal, 6-15 mai 2008. Rome, FAO . 2008. .

The bibliographic references are available in the report included in "Source of Information".
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