Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol. 20 Issue 01, 2014; Page No.(15-20)

CHARACTERIZING POTENTIAL FISHING AREA OF RASTRELLIGER KANAGURTA IN THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE (EEZ) OF MALAYSIA USING REMOTELY SENSED OCEANOGRAPHIC DATA

M.A. Mustapha, N. Shaari, T. Lihan, N.A. Razib, Y.M. Raja Bidin Raja Hassan and Ku Kassim Ku Yaacob

Abstract

Locating and catching fish is very challenging as fish stocks decreases and increases search time, cost and effort.Many countries have stressed the need for identifying potential fishing grounds to help fishermen locate fish stocks and to increase catch. The objectives of this study were to determine the preferred range of chlorophyll-a and sea surface temperature for Rastrelliger kanagurta and to map its potential fishing grounds based on the biophysical environmental variables. MODIS derived satellite data of chlorophyll-a and sea surface temperature (SST) and fisheries catch data of 2008 were analyzed to determine the potential fishing grounds of the pelagic fish, Rastrelliger kanagurta (Cuvier, 1817) in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. A suitability index approach was implemented to obtain the preferred range of the pelagic fish. The preferred range obtained was 0.21 to 0.31 mgm-3 for chlorophyll- a and 29.02 to 30.52°C for sea surface temperature (SST). The accuracy estimation of the potential fishing ground map derived was 87.8%. Location and total catch data was seen to represent potential area of fish occurrence. The results suggest that satellite data can provide useful information to characterize and predict potential Rastrelliger kanagurta habitats.

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