ESSO - Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services

(An Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India)
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Working Group on Sustainable Fisheries

Chair: Tickie Forbes, South Africa
Rapporteur: Nicolette Demetriades, South Africa

The Working Group proposed a pilot project on the Development of a Monitoring and Management System for the Penaeid Prawn Resources in the Indian Ocean.

Tickie Forbes presented the report.

The pilot project has the following characteristics.

  • Rationale for choosing penaeid prawns
  • Project Objectives
  • Measurements / data requirements
  • Major drivers of change

Rationale for choosing penaeid prawns

Regional dependence on fisheries; the generally poor state of coastal fish stocks; the high value of the prawn resources; the wide regional distribution of prawns; artisanal and commercial fisheries already established regionally; generally the same species regionally; general availability of catch data; the aquacultural value of prawns; the prawn life-cycle integrates inshore marine and estuarine environmental effects.

Project Objectives

Creation of links amongst scientists (coastal laboratories), coastal managers and communities; creation of a central data service/product hub available to all; building of sustainable capacity and infrastructure; monitoring of prawn recruitment and abundance via existing fisheries; determination of effects of local conditions (e.g. freshwater run-off); creation of a link to ocean-climate observations; detection of change in prawn-fishery yield in relation to local and regional oceanic/climatic events.

Measurements / data requirements

Fishery data (catch, in quantity and species composition; effort, in number of trawling hours); chlorophyll; oceanographic parameters (salinity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, currents, nutrients); local physical parameters (terrestrial run-off).

Major drivers of change

Human activities (fishing; estuarine and shallow-water habitat degradation and loss); natural factors (monsoons/rainfall regimes; currents; upwelling/downwelling).