Habitat and Biology
Climatic zone: Tropical. Bottom type: Unspecified. Depth zone: Coastal (0 m - 50 m); Shelf (50 m - 200 m); Slope (200 m - 1000 m). Horizontal distribution: Unspecified. Vertical distribution: Pelagic.
Jurisdictional distribution: Shared between nations
The catches are dominated by S. aurita
off Ghana and Togo while S. maderensis
is the dominant species off Benin. The two sardinellas are exploited mainly by the artisanal fleets in Ghana, Togo and Benin and to a lesser extent by the semi-industrial (inshore) fleet and the industrial fish trawlers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. In the three countries, the artisanal fleet uses either artisanal purse seine gear (locally called Poli/Watsa) or beach seine to exploit the two species. Catch
The catches of sardinella are shown in Tables 2.2.1a,b,c. Effort is shown in Table 2.2.2 and Figures 2.2.2a,b.
The dorminant catch in the region is Sardinella maderensis
. Although the catch of Sardinella maderensis
in Cameroon is relatively high, there is high inconsistency in effort. Continuous time series data of catch is only available from 2002 to 2008. There was no data collection system in place during 1990–1993 and 1997–2001. Nigeria accounts for the bulk of the catch but there are no effort data for this region. The catch and effort data in this region are noisy, with inconsistencies.
Scientific AdviceFuture research
for Management consideration
- Fisheries research should be emphasized for all the regions. Data collection schemes should be improved and effort should be made to collect data on species basis in the artisanal and industrial fisheries.
- Intensify biological sampling for better estimates of growth, mortality and abundance indices.
- Identification of species especially the Carangidae and Sardinella.
- Continue with Nansen surveys to obtain fisheries independent data.
- To obtain better abundance indices of the sardinellas below the 30 metres depth contour.
- To better understand interactions between the resource and the environment.
- Adoption of a systematic sampling programme for the collection of catch and effort data for all fleet.
As a precautionary measure, catches should not exceed the average of the last five years (30 000 tonnes).
Source of information
Report of the FAO/CECAF Working Group on the Assessment of Small Pelagic Fish – Subgroup South Accra, Ghana, 19–28 October 2009./Rapport du Groupe de travail FAO/COPACE sur l'évaluation des petits poissons pélagiques – Sous-groupe Sud Accra, Ghana, 19-28 octobre 2009. http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i2909b/i2909b.pdf