Habitat and Biology
Climatic zone: Unspecified. 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
Considered a single stock: No
Sardinellas caught in the southern CECAF Area from Guinea to Angola are composed of two species, the round sardinella (Sardinella aurita) and the flat sardinella (Sardinella maderensis). The surveys carried out in the CECAF area show that the two species are found in a vast area stretching from the southern Moroccan stock to south of Angola. The FAO/CECAF Working Group for the moment has agreed on the existence of four stocks for these two species in the Southern CECAF area. These are the northern (Guinea and Sierra Leone), western (Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Ghana and Benin), central (Nigeria and Cameroon) and southern (Gabon, Congo and Angola).Central stock (Nigeria and Cameroon)
The sardinellas are exploited by the artisanal fleets of Nigeria and Cameroon. S. maderensis is the dominant species in the catches. Off Cameroon, the artisanal fleet use surface gillnets. The nets are operated from canoes of between 8–13 m in LOA and powered by outboard motors of 8 hp. In Nigeria the adult fish are caught when in coastal waters with drift net, beach seine and artisanal purse seine gears. The juvenile fish are caught in the creeks using cast nets and scoop nets. The gears are operated in plank and dugout canoes. The plank canoes are of 5–9 m in LOA and either paddled or powered by outboard motors of 25 hp. The dugout canoes are between 12–18 m in LOA and powered by outboard motors of 40 hp.
No assessment was done on any species in the stock because Cameroon has data only for 1994–1996 and Nigeria has no effort data. Sardinella aurita
: Trends in catches show a stable situation in Nigeria. Sardinella maderensis
: Trends in catches show a quite stable situation in the stock.
Scientific AdviceFuture research
for Management considerations
- Biological sampling intensification.
- Continue with Nansen surveys to obtain fisheries independent data.
- Adoption of a sampling programme for the commercial fleet.
Precautionary approach until a full assessment can be made on the two species. Catches of the species should not exceed the average of the last five years (S. maderensis
and S. aurita
should not exceed 11 000 and 3 000 tonnes respectively).
Source of information
FAO Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic/Comité des pêches pour l’Atlantique Centre-Est. “Report of the FAO/CECAF Working Group on the Assessment of Small Pelagic Fish – Subgroup South” Limbe, Cameroon, 25 September–1 October 2006
“Rapport du Groupe de travail FAO/COPACE sur l’évaluation des petits poissons pélagiques – Sous-Groupe Sud” Limbé, Cameroun, 25 septembre-1er octobre 2006
Rome, FAO . 2009
The bibliographic references are available in the report included in "Source of Information".