ARTISANAL FISHERY IN MOROCCAN NORTH ATLANTIC: CASE OF SMALL PELAGICMustapha Oumarous, Aziza Lakhnigue, Abdelouahed Ben Mhamed, Jilali Bensbai1, Najib Charouki1, Mohammed Malouli1 and Mohammed Bekkali
The Artisanal fishery in Morocco is practiced by small boats. However,iIn the North Atlantic part, between Cape Spartel (35°38N) and Cape Cantin (32°32N), small pelagic species mostly exploited by coastal fleets are progressively more targeted by artisanal fleet. This practice has so far not been officially regulated and therefore usually undeclared. The interest of this study is to update the knowledge on this artisanal activity, as well as to quantify her effective contribution in the pelagic fishery and to evaluate the current fishing capacity of this fleet considered as marginal. The approach used to diagnose this artisanal fishery aim to analyze different information sources and bring together the existing data that are supplemented by surveys and investigations with artisanal fishermen, to produce the requested operating and biological indicators. The artisanal fleet use a small purse seine deployed at depths generally less than 30 fathoms. In 2014, onsite surveys have shown significant quantities of small pelagic fish were landed by this fleet. The results confirm a much more consistent production of the artisanal fleet, estimated to about 11500 tons. The fish sizes exploited are dominated by adult individuals with a major mode of 17 cm for sardine and 20 cm for chub mackerel. In order to assess the impact of the artisanal fishery pressure on these resources known by their high dynamism, this study illustrated the importance of this artisanal fishery on the basis of the main indicators, which makes it important to include them in future management plans.
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