Sustainable management of the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME)


Call for abstract


The Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME), which covers 7 north-west African countries (Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Morocco, Mauritania, and Senegal), is one of the most productive and diverse large marine ecosystems in the world. It features a wide range of marine and coastal habitats, including wetlands, estuaries, seagrass beds, mangroves, and coral communities that are home to many endemic and migratory species. Annual fish production in the CCLME varies between 2 and 3 million tonnes, the highest of any of Africa's major marine ecosystems, with a total catch value of more than 3 billion dollars per year. The CCLME provides vital food and economic resources to the coastal populations bordering the large marine ecosystem, as well as to a large part of West Africa.

However, overfishing, habitat modifications, and changes in water quality have led to an increasingly worrying degradation of this ecosystem, which is vital for the populations living in coastal and marine areas, and beyond. To combat this degradation, the 7 CCLME countries, with the support of technical and financial partners, have adopted the CCLME Strategic Action Programme (SAP). The SAP addresses the root causes of concern at different levels by removing the main obstacles and putting in place a series of measures based on scientific, technical, and local knowledge to implement an ecosystem-based approach to integrated management that can make a real difference in rebuilding fish stocks, reversing habitat degradation and improving water quality.

It is within this context that the Scientific Symposium on the Large Marine Ecosystem of the Canary Current (CCLME) will be organised from 20 to 22 November 2023 in Bissau, Republic of Guinea Bissau. The symposium aims to bring together experts from various backgrounds to share their knowledge and experience to address priority transboundary issues concerning the decline of fisheries resources, habitat degradation, associated marine biodiversity and the deterioration of water quality in the CCLME, based on scientific findings.

The specific objectives of the symposium are to:

  1. Review up-to-date scientific knowledge on exploited marine resources and other vulnerable species, on habitats and associated biodiversity and on marine water quality in the CCLME.
  2. To present the data and scientific methodologies developed to monitor changes in the state of health of the CCLME under anthropic pressure and the effects of climate change.

The call for papers is open to researchers, scientists, students, managers, and professionals interested in CCLME topics and wishing to contribute to the improvement of scientific knowledge on exploited marine resources and other vulnerable species, on habitats and associated biodiversity, and on marine water quality in the North-West African zone. The selected papers will be presented orally or as posters and interactive debates will be organised.


  1. Living Marine Resources

    -    New methodologies and data collection and analysis protocols for the sustainable management of living marine resources in a context of insufficient data.

    -    Monitoring the abundance, biomass, and evolution of transboundary pelagic and demersal stocks and stocks of common interest.

    -     Identification of stocks and their geographical distribution.

    -     Monitoring and assessment of vulnerable species, their role in the ecosystem, and their interactions with fishing.

  2. Habitats and Biodiversity

    -   Changes in marine and coastal ecosystems (e.g., upwellings, estuary dynamics, zooplankton, phytoplankton, Ichthyoplankton …).

    -     Monitoring and assessment of changes in marine and coastal biodiversity.

    -    Sustainable management, monitoring, and evolution of sensitive areas (spawning and nursery areas) and critical habitats, including their contributions to ecosystem goods and services: mangroves, seagrass beds; and sensitive seabeds.

    -     Assessing the social, economic, and environmental impacts of MPAs.

  3. Water Quality

    -       Mapping changes in water quality, marine pollution, marine litter, and invasive alien species.

    -       Monitoring harmful algal blooms (HABs).

    -       Identification of areas at risk and the main sources of pollution.

    -       Assessing the impact of infrastructures on the marine and coastal environment.

    -       Modeling the movement and dispersion of pollutants, their extent, and the risks for the ecosystem and fishing.

  4. Socio-economics of the CCLME

    -     Estimating the value of ecosystem goods and services.

    -     Understanding seafood markets and trade.

    -     Cost/benefit analysis of fisheries management options and measures.

    -    Evolution of the sociology of stakeholders and their role in the sustainable management of CCLME living natural resources (e.g. fisheries, mangroves, etc.)

  5. Cross-cutting issues

-  Climate change impacts on fisheries: identifying vulnerabilities, adaptation, and mitigation options.

- Measures for adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems.

- Gender and the exploitation of natural marine resources.

Interested parties are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 500 words, accompanied by six keywords.

Paper proposals may cover various disciplinary fields and should address the problem, methodology and analytical framework, results obtained and perspectives relating to the symposium themes indicated above.

Papers may cover theoretical and/or practical aspects and should address the issues and challenges of scientific research for the monitoring and sustainable management of marine and coastal ecosystems.

Proposals may be written in French or English and should be sent as Word and PDF attachments by no later than 12 pm GMT on 15th  September 2023 to: [email protected]  and CC to [email protected]  and [email protected]

All abstracts will be evaluated by a scientific committee, and selected papers may be presented as oral or poster presentations (A0 format). Please indicate your presentation preference when submitting your proposal.

The 50 best proposals from the 7 CCLME countries selected by the scientific committee could receive support for their participation in the symposium.

Key dates

- Launch of the call for abstracts: 31st July 2023

 - Deadline for receipt of abstracts: 15th September 2023

- Meeting of the scientific committee for selection: 25th and 26th September 2023

- Notification of selected abstracts: 30th September 2023

- Deadline for submission of articles on selected abstracts: 20th October 2023

- Registration: 4th to 20th September 2023

- Date of the symposium: 20th to 22nd November 2023