Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.15, Issue 1, 2009; Page No.(29-32)

AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO TUNA FISHERIES MANAGEMENT IN WEST AFRICA

Taiwo, I.O, O.A. Olopade, M.O. lpimoroti and O. Odunaiya

Abstract

Tunas have been particularly affected by oyerfishing and several large tunas such as the Southern Bluefin Tuna and the Northern Bluefin Tuna are on the endangered list. Even though these are cold water tunas and are not found within the \Vest Aim an \lariijme territory. Those species found within the Atlantic Ocean of West Africa are also being threatened tinct 1011. This is because the Distant Water Fishing Nations (DWI;Ns) having exhausted then- stocks and L on into the West African region to fish what little stock is left. The main tuna species Are `:;kipjack, Yellowfin and Bigeye tuna. Because the tuna fishery is an oceanic fishers', it requires a pruner management scheme since tuna fishing cannot take place without impacting the environment, hence the onservation of the marine environment should be an integral part of tuna fisheries ma naffment. IL is of utmost importance for a tuna fisheries management program to consider the environment and its natural variability such as the devastating and beneficial effects of El Nino phenomenon. This \ vas done by taking into cognisance the role of fishing mortality and the environmental impacts of the fisheries. Tuna as a living renewable marine resource are finite in size and have slow renewal rate thus their exploitation has to be reasonably managed. With the ineffectiveness of the !vISY, all these aspects were linked together within fisheries management to develop an accurate model for the cite'. live management of the tuna fisheries.

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