DISTRIBUTION, MIGRATION AND SPAWNING OF THE MAIN FISH RESOURCES IN THE NORTHERN CECAF AREA
|PROJECT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF FISHERIES|
IN THE EASTERN CENTRAL ATLANTIC
|CECAF/ECAF SERIES 82/25(En)|
Senior Fisheries Officer
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME Rome, October 1982
These maps have been prepared on the basis of data in the reports listed in the bibliography of this paper. The work makes no claim to have covered all the available literature and I apologize in advance to any authors whom I may have unwittingly omitted.
The quality of the data base was variable, necessitating much interpretation on my part in preparing the maps, and I claim full responsibility for any errors which may appear. The preparation of a detailed Atlas of the region's resources is a long-range, team effort. So this is by way of a preliminary, and is meant to summarize present knowledge, provoke constructive criticism and be improved over time by the scientists concerned.
This work was made possible by more than ten years of sustained efforts on the part of my predecessors in the major laboratories of the region. I feel justice has been done to them in the bibliography but I would also like to thank all those in the CECAF working parties whose sometimes anonymous contribution helped to make this Atlas.
DISTRIBUTION, MIGRATION AND SPAWNING OF THE
MAIN FISH RESOURCES IN THE NORTHERN CECAF AREA
Compiled by Serge GARCIA
Fishery Resources and Environment Division
FAO Fisheries Department
Major migrations of species of great economic value are a typical feature of the northern CECAF region (Fishery Committee of the Eastern Central Atlantic), arbitrarily bounded in this paper by the Straits of Gibraltar (Cape Spartel) and the Cape Palmas. In these migrations, stocks or fractions of stocks cross several Exclusive Economic Zones. The setting up of a proper machinery to manage resources common to several countries and the availability of the best possible information on stock movements are therefore essential.
During its fifth session in Lomé in March 1977, the CECAF Committee emphasized the need to “foster investigations on the distribution and migration patterns of the main stocks and to provide such information in a form directly usable by those res- ponsible for management” and recognized that “this kind of knowledge was now essential as it could provide an acceptable basis for calculation of allocation of stocks extend- ing over several sectors under national jurisdiction” (FAO, 1977).
Gulland (1979) also emphasized how important it was for fisheries management in the CECAF region to be able to identify the movement of stocks, so did the Consultation on Stock Management in the CECAF Statistical Divisions - Sahara and Cape Verde (Dakar, June 1979, FAO/CECAF 1979).
Awareness of the importance of this kind of data increased the development together with the amount of research conducted in the laboratories of the region, sometimes with the support of FAO or CECAF project and laboratories outside the region. It spawned a remarkable body of data on distribution and movements between 1978 and 1982. The author has attempted to compile and interpret these data in this paper.
Most of the relevant work in the various bibliographies published about the region (FAO/CECAF, 1975; FAO/CECAF, 1976; Maurin and Aldebert, 1970), and in the latest literature has been consulted. It would be practically impossible to list here all of the publications consulted during the preparation of the maps. We shall therefore simply list such essential works as the oldest basic reports and the most recent summaries.
Prominent among the earliest descriptions of fishing grounds of the northern CECAF region, are BELLOC (1933), Navarro and Lozano (1950 and 1953) and Postel 1955. Postel in 1963 made an early analysis of seasonal faunistic changes in this region (published in 1968). Beginning in 1966, the Guinean Trawling Survey (GTS) contributed very important findings on stocks in the southern half of the sector under consideration (Guinea- Bissau to Liberia, Williams, 1968). The two symposiums organized under the auspices of ICES in the Canary Islands in 1968 and 1978 (Letaconnoux and Went, 1970; ICES (in preparation)) give us an early look at the information available on the Canary Current sector.
During this period, the Gdynia Fisheries Institute (Poland) published two atlases (1971 and 1973) on the resources of northwestern Africa. These have recently been translated into English (Klimaj, 1976). These represent an early attempt to synopsize the distribution and reproduction of many commercial species.
In 1977 Champagnat and Domain, in the context of a joint working party organized by the Senegalese Institute for Agricultural Research and ORSTOM (ISRA 1977), made one of the first efforts to compile available migration data - basically in the sector between 10°N and 24°N. The work was an important contribution to understanding migratory phenomena in the region and was followed by a much more complete report (Champagnat and Domain, 1978) including migration maps for nine major species.
From 1977–1979, many CECAF ad hoc working parties had the opportunity to get to- gether the published and unpublished data available on the subject (FAO/CECAF, 1978, 1978a, b, c, d, 1980). Regional summaries were made by FAO (Boely and Fréon, 1979; Belvèze and Bravo de Laguna, 1980; Domain, 1976) and the CECAF project (Pereiro and Bravo de Laguna, 1980). Others were done at national level in the region (Domain, 1981; Champagnat, 1978; Josse and Domain, 1979; Caverivière, 1982) or outside the region (Hatanaka, 1979; a number of Soviet authors, in FAO/CECAF, 1981).
The various exploratory surveys in the region also contributed very important data on the distribution of concentrations of stocks. Acoustic surveys were done with the R/V Capricorne (Marchal et al., 1979 and 1980; Marchal and Josse, 1982) by CRODT 1, ORSTOM 2, or FAO), the R/V El Idrissi and Ibn Sina of ISPM 3, the Cornide de Saavedra of the IEO 4 (see FAO/CECAF 1981) and the R/V Dr. F. Nansen (Strømme, Saetersdal and Gjøsaeter, 1981).
ISPM and IEO also did trawling surveys off Morocco on cephalopods and sparids (see FAO/CECAF, 1978, 1979) as did CNROP 5 off Mauritania (Domain and Josse, 1979), CRODT in the Senegal to Guinea-Bissau sector (Domain, 1981; Bakhayokho and Drammeh, 1982). Trawl surveys were also conducted in Guinea (Zupanovic and Cissé, 1979).
Other works were also consulted in preparing the maps. A list of the significant ones is given in the bibliography. Many of the works consulted were not major sources of data for this report and have thus not been quoted.
1 Centre de Recherches océanographique de Dakar-Thiaroye (Sénégal)
2 Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique outre-mer (Paris)
3 Institut Scientifique des pêches maritimes (Casablanca)
4 Instituto Español de oceanografia (Tenerife)
5 Centre National de la recherche océanographique et des pêches (Nouadhibou)
The document includes 10 sheets (numbered 1 to 10) each of which contains three maps and one sheet (number 11) consisting of a set of blank maps for recording all subsequent data, corrections or additions, for the purpose of further updating. Other outline maps are available from the CECAF project in Dakar or from FAO in Rome, upon request.
The species covered are:
|Sheet 1||Brachydeuterus auritus and Balistes carolinensis|
|2||Sardinella aurita, S. maderensis, Decapterus ronchus|
|3||Trachurus trachurus, T. trecae, T. picturatus|
|4||Octopus vulgaris, Sepia o. officinalis, S. o. hierredda|
|5||Loligo spp., Scomber japonicus and S. scombrus, Sardina pilchardus|
|6||Macroramphosus spp., Pomadasys jubelini, Sparus caerulostictus (Pagrus ehrembergii), Southern Coastal Sparids Complex as exemplified by Pagellus bellottii|
|7||Northern Coastal Sparidas Complex as exemplified by Pagellus acarne, Dentex macrophtalmus and D. maroccanus, Dentex congoensis and D. angolensis|
|8||Merluccius merluccius, M. senegalensis, M. cadenati|
|9||Pomatomus saltatrix, Plectorhyncus mediterraneus (Diagramma mediterraneum) Argirosoma regius|
|10||Shelf demersal fish, Lepidopus caudatus, Trichiurus lepturus.|
Most sheets include three species or groups of species excepting sheets 5 and 6 which contain more. The most recent scientific names used follow the most up-to-date rules as given in the CECAF Identification Sheets (Fisher, Bianchi and Scott eds, 1981). Where a major change in terminology has been made, the name conventionally used by scientists in the region is indicated in parentheses.
The maps contain data on general distribution, eventual changes over the years, concentration areas where fishing is carried out, nurseries (or areas where juveniles concentrate) seasonal migrations and reproduction. Presumed limits of the different stocks have been listed.
Comments or question marks have also been added to indicate unresolved distribution problems.
We have tried to reproduce as faithfully as possible the data now available on the subject, with its good points and bad. The maps should be thought of as working documents, subject to improvement.
We do not intend to comment in detail on the maps but there were a number of difficulties in preparing them, and questions did arise for the future which scientists will have to try to answer. The most important questions are listed below:
Map No. 1: Balistes carolinensis: How many stocks are there in the northern CECAF sector? Are we to consider that there is amajor core which has developed along the Guinea-Bissau-Sierra Leone sector, reaching north seasonally as far as Mauritania? Or is there a series of separate units staggered from the south to the north of which only the northern group migrates seasonally as far as Cape Blanc?
Map No. 2: Sardinella aurita: Is there (or rather was there before the southward extension of the stock of Sardina pilchardus) a “Saharian” stock? Is there an independent stock in the Sherbro area (Guinea/Sierra Leone)?
Map No. 3: Trachurus trachurus: Is there a Saharian stock?
Trachurus trecae: Is there really a “dwarf breed” in Guinea-Bissau/ Sierra Leone or are these just juveniles who remain in the nursery until first matura- tion and then migrate with the adults as far as Mauritania?
Trachurus picturatus: Except for Shaboneev (1973), very little is known about this species.
Map No. 4: Octopus concentrations south of Senegal are considered minor. North of Cape Blanc they are among the world's major concentrations. The older documents consulted confirm a major presence of cephalopods (squids, cuttlefish) in this region long before a specialized fishery developed but there is never any mention of octopus. This makes their present abundance quite remarkable.
Map No. 5: Our knowledge about the distribution and migration of squids is still very fragmentary. Their pelagic behaviour and the fact that they are frequently dis- tributed along the continental slope makes them difficult to study. The map is therefore likely to be very incomplete.
Maps No. 6 and No. 7: Seabreams, a major group in the region, are still causing many problems. Coastal sparids have been separated into two species assemblages typified by Pagellus acarne in the north and Pagellus bellottii in the south. However there is a permanent continuity between these two complexes, with gradual replacement of northern-affinity species (Saharian) by species with Guinean affinity. Sparus caerulostictus is a typical component of this last group. Migrations are unknown for the northern group, but better known for the southern group, (Cape Verde to Cape Blanc). The particular status of the resources of the broad continental shelf off the Guinea- Bissau-Sierra Leone region remains to be determined as do eventual links with those further north. Concerning the deep sparids the specific composition of the Dentex stock in the Guinean sector is not clear. Referring to the traditional literature on the geographical distribution of the Dentex group the author has assumed that it con- sisted mainly of D. angolensis and D. congoensis.
Map No. 8: A comparison of works on hake species from different years suggests a southern regression of African hake geographical distribution. We may also well ask if it is not a question of a mistake in species determination. In any case, the hypothesis of a regression cannot be discarded at this stage.
Map No. 9: Pomatomus saltratrix has been a major species in the region. Annual yields vary, and the connexion between stocks located between Cape Verde and Cape Blanc and stocks located further north (Morocco) and appearing sporadically in the south (Ivory Coast) is unknown.
Map No. 10: This provides a synopsis including three components of the fauna characteristics of the sector under study: an infrathermoclinal one with Saharian affinity, and two superthermoclinal ones with Guinean affinity. Basically, the map is based on Domain's work (1981) for the sector north of Guinea-Bissau.
The questions raised above or in the maps themselves will undoubtedly be addressed in the future. It has long been known that the sector between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania was characterized by important movements of fish stocks and could therefore benefit from a rational approach to management and exploitation of shared stocks. It is worth stressing that despite many unanswered questions there are numerous indications which tend to prove that the Sierra Leone-Guinea-Bissau sector might also be a bionomic unit in which significant movements take place fully justifying a regional management approach.
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FAO, 1978 Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic. Report of the ad hoc Working Group on sardine Sardina pilchardus (Walb.). Institut Scientifique des Pêches Maritimes, Casablanca, Morocco, 13–17 December 1977. CECAF/ECAF Ser., (78/7):35 p. Issued also in French as COPACE/PACE Ser., (78/7):35 p.
FAO, 1979 Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic. Report of the ad hoc Working Group on the assessment of cephalopods stocks. Laboratorio Oceanografico, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, 18–23 September 1978. CECAF/ ECAF Ser., (78/11):149 p. Issued also in French as COPACE/PACE Ser., (78/11): 135 p.
FAO, 1979 Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic. Report of the ad hoc Working Group on coastal demersal stocks from southern Mauritania to Liberia, held at the Centre de Recherches Océanographiques de Dakar. Thiaroye, 14–19 November 1977. CECAF/ECAF Ser., (78/8):98 p. Issued also in French as COPACE/PACE Ser., (78/8):99 p.
FAO, 1979 Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic. Report of the ad hoc Working Group on West African coastal pelagic fish from Mauritania to Liberia, (26°N to 5°N), held at the Centre de Recherches Oceanographiques de Dakar - Thiaroye, Senegalese Institute for Agricultural Research, 19–24 June 1978. CECAF/ECAF Ser., (78/10):161 p. Issued also in French as COPACE/PACE Ser., (78/10):165 p.
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FAO, 1980 Fishery Committee forthe Eastern Central Atlantic. Report of the second meeting of the Working Group on sardine sardina pilchardus (Walb.), held in Casablanca, Morocco, 16–23 March 1979 and Dakar, Senegal, 19–22 April 1979, CECAF/ECAF Ser., (79/15):105 p. Issued also in French as COPACE/PACE Ser., (79/15):108 p.
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Habashi, B. and J. Wojciechowski, 1973 Observations on the biology of Scomber japonicus off Northwest Africa. ICES CM.1979/J.20:11 p. (mimeo)
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