Trends and issues in Soqotra's marine resource and fishery management - Université de Bretagne Occidentale Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2012

Trends and issues in Soqotra's marine resource and fishery management


Matching their high biological diversity, the coastal ecosystems of Soqotra are also highly productive and certain sites rank among the most productive sites in the Indian Ocean, as recent surveys have demonstrated. The primary productivity is seasonally fertilized by monsoon-driven nutrient-rich upwelling waters, and the resulting plankton biomass forms the basis for a marine food web that naturally sustains large populations of edible and commercially important species of fin fish. Also other living marine resources such as spiny lobster and sea cucumbers are abundant around the island group. The coastal fishery is therefore well developed and plays a significant role for the local population. It is one of the principle sources of food and income, representing a significant proportion of the local economy, and has been considered by many stakeholders as main engine for economic growth and development of the island group. The fishery communities were for long praised for managing their stocks sustainably according to traditional regulations, with only few target species such as sharks and lobster, and more recently sea cucumbers, being probably overused. Coastal productivity, however, had until recently not been actually measured but instead rather inferred from production data. Recent data on fishing effort and production of finfish, lobsters and sea cucumbers are presented and trends, challenges and threats are identified. These production-based and experience-based observations are now corroborated by fish biomass census data. They strongly suggest that the fishery in general reaches its resource sustainability limits across a wide range of exploited stocks. Visual underwater estimates indicate that biomass decreased severely from 1.53 to 0.24 t/ha between 2007 and 2011, and that abundances dropped by about 75%. More recent data from 2012 appear to confirm this negative trend, and call for improved fishery management, immediate catch and trading restrictions, contingency planning with regard to food security, and a change of aspirations with regard to the role the local fishery can play in the economic development of the islands.
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hal-00778419 , version 1 (22-01-2013)


  • HAL Id : hal-00778419 , version 1


Fouad Naseeb Saeed, Thabet Khamis, Saleh Saheed, Motea Sheikh Aideed, Uwe Zajonz, et al.. Trends and issues in Soqotra's marine resource and fishery management. Soqotra Symposium 2012 - 11th Annual General Meeting Friends of Soqotra, and Thematic Workshop: Nature Research and Conservation at the Interface to Development Cooperation: the Case of the Soqotra Archipelago., Sep 2012, Frankfurt am Mauin, Germany. pp.65. ⟨hal-00778419⟩
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