Profile updated on 18 July 2019

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Sardina pilchardus

SPECIES NAME(s)

European pilchard, Sardine, European sardine

Many studies have investigated the stock structure of the European pilchard population widely distributed in the Northeast and Eastern Central Atlantic, and the Mediterranean and Black Sea (e.g.(Spanakis et al. 1989)(Tinti et al. 2002)(Atarhouch et al. 2005)(Chlaida et al. 2006)(Silva et al. 2006)(Laurent et al. 2007)(Chlaida et al. 2009)(Antonakakis et al. 2011)). However, some uncertainty remains (Kasapidis et al. 2012) and further research into regional stock subunits is needed (ICES 2014)(ICES 2017). The West African European pilchard profiles presented on FishSource reflect two assessment units delineated by the FAO Working Group on Small Pelagic Fish in Northwest Africa, (FAO 2018): one in zones "A + B" (Central) and another in zone "C" (Southern), The recent work of (Shukhgalter 2013) supports the distinction of these two stock units.

The Central stock unit, considered here, reflects an entirely Moroccan population from Cap Blanc at 26ºN north to Cap Boujdour at 32ºN; while the Southern stock unit reflects the population occurring in the waters of Morocco and countries south, from Cap Blanc through the southern limit of the species extent.

In addition, to the West African stocks, FishSource considers the following assessment units throughout the species’ distribution:

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) stock assessment units:
Iberian (ICESDivisions 8.c and 9.a) and Bay of Biscay, Southern Celtic Seas and English Channel (ICES Divisions 8.a,b,d and Subarea 7)

General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM and FAO 2015) (GFCM/FAO) stock assessment units - of the 8 stock assessment units assumed (Kasapidis et al. 2012)(FAO and GFCM 2017)  these 2 are already covered in profiles:
Northern Adriatic Sea (GSA17) and Northern Alboran Sea(GSA01).

The West African stocks are captured in industrial and artisanal small pelagic fisheries in Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, and the Gambia that also target European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus, sardinella Sardinellas spp., horse mackerel Trachurus spp. and chub mackerel Scomber japonicus.


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • The (Moroccan) Institut National de Recherche Halieutique, (INRH) conducts regular research on the status of exploited marine resources.
  • Stock status is regularly assessed by both the FAO and the INRH; the FAO provides annual scientific advice.
  • A management plan with effort limits was put in place for small pelagics the in the central zone in 2015.
  • Some (but not all) models used to assess the stock in 2017 indicate a trend of stable to increasing biomass.
  • Catches have been below advised limits since 2014.
  • Purse seining and pelagic trawling generally are considered to have very low potential effects on the habitat and on protected species; there are protections in place for several species of shark 
  • Bycatch limits are defined for allowable species;  and preliminary results of a current study indicate discard rates and ETP interactions are low.
  • Monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) systems throughout the region have undergone improvements in the recent decade.
Weaknesses
  • While there is consensus by the FAO and INRH that the stock is in a "not fully exploited" state, this conclusion is not supported by all of the INRH  assessment results presented. The significance (or lack thereof) of less optomistic results (e.g. "fully exploited" and "overexploited" stock status) is unclear.
  • Catch advice provided by the FAO working group is not released in a timely manner, and no TAC limits are defined by management.
  • The management plan is not species specific, and there is no harvest control rule.
  • Bycatch and discarding species are poorly documented. ETP interaction remains a possible concern based on past studies.
  • The level of Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity is unclear.
  • The stock structure remains somewhat uncertain.
  • Some other target species, although caught in lower proportions, are overexploited throughout the West African region (e.g. Cunene and Atlantic horse mackerel).

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

≥ 8

Future Health:

≥ 6


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Push the Moroccan National Fisheries Research Institute (INRH) and the FAO to publish annual scientific advice in a timely manner.
  • Push fishery managers to further develop and fully implement the management plan including catch limits and appropriate harvest control rules for all species (stocks).
  • Work with managers to improve catch and discard information and better define the scale of any IUU fishing for all fleets.
  • Work with scientists to understand the uncertainties in the stock assessment and improve the different assessment models and input data (catches, discards, biological data) to reduce the level of uncertainty in the assessment and to work towards resolving the differences between the models.
  • Work with scientists to conduct studies to clarify the stock structure of northwest African pilchard/sardine. 
  • Press managers to implement a recovery strategy for other target species in this multi-species fishery to ensure that all such species are at least above their biologically-based limit reference points (or proxies for the point of recruitment impairment), especially Cunene horse mackerel and Atlantic horse mackerel. 
  • Work with scientists and managers to expand the at–sea observer programme to provide representational coverage of all components of the fishery to better understand catches and discards, as well as interactions with habitats and all types of bycatch. 

FIPS

  • Morocco sardine - pelagic trawl and seine / Maroc sardine - chalut pélagique et senne:

    Stage 5, Progress Rating A

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
NW Africa central Morocco Morocco Midwater trawls
Purse seines
Spain Purse seines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 18 July 2019

Strengths
  • The (Moroccan) Institut National de Recherche Halieutique, (INRH) conducts regular research on the status of exploited marine resources.
  • Stock status is regularly assessed by both the FAO and the INRH; the FAO provides annual scientific advice.
  • A management plan with effort limits was put in place for small pelagics the in the central zone in 2015.
  • Some (but not all) models used to assess the stock in 2017 indicate a trend of stable to increasing biomass.
  • Catches have been below advised limits since 2014.
  • Purse seining and pelagic trawling generally are considered to have very low potential effects on the habitat and on protected species; there are protections in place for several species of shark 
  • Bycatch limits are defined for allowable species;  and preliminary results of a current study indicate discard rates and ETP interactions are low.
  • Monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) systems throughout the region have undergone improvements in the recent decade.
Weaknesses
  • While there is consensus by the FAO and INRH that the stock is in a "not fully exploited" state, this conclusion is not supported by all of the INRH  assessment results presented. The significance (or lack thereof) of less optomistic results (e.g. "fully exploited" and "overexploited" stock status) is unclear.
  • Catch advice provided by the FAO working group is not released in a timely manner, and no TAC limits are defined by management.
  • The management plan is not species specific, and there is no harvest control rule.
  • Bycatch and discarding species are poorly documented. ETP interaction remains a possible concern based on past studies.
  • The level of Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity is unclear.
  • The stock structure remains somewhat uncertain.
  • Some other target species, although caught in lower proportions, are overexploited throughout the West African region (e.g. Cunene and Atlantic horse mackerel).
RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 8 August 2019

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Push the Moroccan National Fisheries Research Institute (INRH) and the FAO to publish annual scientific advice in a timely manner.
  • Push fishery managers to further develop and fully implement the management plan including catch limits and appropriate harvest control rules for all species (stocks).
  • Work with managers to improve catch and discard information and better define the scale of any IUU fishing for all fleets.
  • Work with scientists to understand the uncertainties in the stock assessment and improve the different assessment models and input data (catches, discards, biological data) to reduce the level of uncertainty in the assessment and to work towards resolving the differences between the models.
  • Work with scientists to conduct studies to clarify the stock structure of northwest African pilchard/sardine. 
  • Press managers to implement a recovery strategy for other target species in this multi-species fishery to ensure that all such species are at least above their biologically-based limit reference points (or proxies for the point of recruitment impairment), especially Cunene horse mackerel and Atlantic horse mackerel. 
  • Work with scientists and managers to expand the at–sea observer programme to provide representational coverage of all components of the fishery to better understand catches and discards, as well as interactions with habitats and all types of bycatch. 

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 18 July 2019

Morocco consistently conducts acoustic surveys in the central region (FAO 2016; FAO 2018; FAO 2018; FAO 2019). There is also a biological sampling program in Moroccan ports; sampling  intensity is typically higher in Zone A than in Zone B and in the Southern Zone (Zone C).

Annual stock assessments are conducted separately by the FAO’s Working Group on the Assessment of Small Pelagic Fish off Northwest Africa, and Morocco’s Institut National de Recherche Halieutique, (INRH). Publication timing is somewhat variable. The latest published reports assess the stock’s status using data through 2017 (INRH 2018; FAO 2019)

Approaches used to assess the stock in 2017 were consistent with prior years, with both the INRH and the FAO working group using forms of the Schaefer (Schaefer 1954) global production model. The INRH applied two versions of the model: 1) a biomass dynamic (BIODYN) model developed by CECAF, and 2) a Stock-Production Model Incorporating Covariates (ASPIC) model, known for its integration of variability and uncertainty (INRH 201; INRH 2018). Their methods adjust total catches by abundance indices from acoustic surveys and fisheries, though the ASPIC model is statistically more reliant on catches (INRH 2016). They also carried out a third approach, a virtual population method known as “extended survivors analysis” (XSA). Meanwhile, the FAO Working Group also implemented a dynamic version of the Schaefer model, with total catches adjusted from survey abundance indices, and the model was fit using Excel non-linear optimization software (FAO 2019). A length cohort analysis (LCA) model applied by the FAO working group, gave inconclusive results.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 18 July 2019

Since 2001, scientific advice for small pelagic resources in NW Africa has been provided annually by an international working group under the FAO's Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF) (Garcia et al. 2012; FAO 2018; FAO 2019). In line with CECAF's overarching mission (FAO 2019), the group of scientists is tasked with assessing stock status and recommending management options geared towards optimal and sustainable exploitation for the benefit of coastal countries. Reports are usually released with a significant time-lag. The INRH, meanwhile, includes general management recommendations in their stock assessment reports, but does not offer specific catch advice (INRH 2018)

Relative biological reference points are used for the stock due to the uncertainty in estimating absolute values (FAO 2006; INRH 2018; FAO 2019). Advice is given in relation to agreed target reference points – e.g. B/B0.1 and F/F0.1. Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) indices F/FMSY and B/BMSY are used as the relative limit reference points.

The publication timing of the FAO working group's catch advice typically has a two-year gap. In the latest assessment (based on 2017 stock status and published in June of 2019), the working group recommended catch limit of 550,000 tonnes, the same amount they recommended in the preceding several years (FAO 2019). The working group also maintained that while the stock could likely sustain an increase in catches, a precautionary approach is necessary in light of the stock’s sensitivity to hydroclimatic dynamics. Based on similar concerns, the INRH, in their recent assessment, likewise advocated for a vigilant and adaptive management approach (INRH 2018). Noting the pattern of rising catches during a period of static biomass levels, they further advised that measures to reduce mortality are needed for small pelagic stocks in order to assure exploitation levels continue to be sustainable.

The FAO working group has also made a number of recommendations related to improving stock assessments for sardines in the northwest African region (general to all zones), including: relaunching coordinated regional surveys to estimate abundance throughout the species' distribution, undertaking recruitment surveys along the species' range, strengthening of age reading and validation methods, continuation of size frequency analysis, and improvements to fishing effort series and biosampling programs (FAO 2019).  An analysis of catch data series and fishing effort for all fleets relative to climate indices was also recommended. 

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 18 July 2019

Considering the 2018 assessment results collectively, the INRH interpreted the stock status of the Central pilchard stock in 2017 to be non-fully exploited, and the FAO Working Group concluded the same based on their Schaefer dynamic production model.

Acoustic survey indices show the biomass of small pelagics in the North, Central and South Atlantic coasts (66% of which is comprised of sardine) to have increased by 4.3% from 2016-2017 (INRH 2018). Though, a slight decrease was observed in the acoustic abundance index for sardine in the Central Zone (FAO 2019).

Dynamic production model assessments by INRH and the FAO produced very similar target and limit reference point estimates, indicating a stock in good condition and not fully exploited (INRH: B2017/B0.1=1.40, B2017/BMSY=1.54, F2017/F0.1=0.55, and F2017/FMSY=0.50; FAO: B2017/B0.1=1.39, and B2017/BMSY = 1.53, F2017/F0.1= 0.56, and F2017/FMSY=0.51) (INRH 2018; FAO 2019). Both the INRH and the FAO working group reported that their applications of these models produced a satisfactory fit. 

The INRH’s ASPIC results (using two different adjustments) were far less optimistic, both indicating a state of over exploitation in terms of biomass (B2017/B0.1=0.53 and 0.73; B2017/BMSY=0.58 and 0.80). The INRH’s XSA model showed biomass to be at similar level to pre-2003 biomass, and lower than a period of higher abundance between 2005-2007. With respect to fishing pressure, the ASPIC model results portray a state of overexploitation (CPUE model) and full exploitation (Biomass model). Respectively, results from the two approaches (CPUE and Biomass adjusted) were: F2017/F0.1 = 2.17 and F2017/FMSY = 1.95; and F2017/F0.1 = 1.13 and F2017/FMSY = 1.02. The INRH’s XSA model estimated the exploitation rate on the stock to be 0.51 – slightly above 0.4, a rate considered to be an appropriate limit reference point for small pelagic species based on the work of (Patterson 1992). Meanwhile, F was estimated to be well over F0.1, but well under Fmsy.

While the different models applied to the stock by the INRH continue to yield mixed results, they are consistent in pattern with previous years, with the Biodyn model producing an optimistic assessment and both ASPIC models producing more troubling results. Comparing the assessment of the stock in 2017 to that in 2016, estimates of biomass are similar for the Biodyn model, lower for the ASPIC CPUE model, and higher for the ASPIC Biomass model. Estimates of fishing pressure are higher in 2017 from the Biodyn and ASPIC CPUE models (considerably higher in the latter case) than in 2016, and stable from the ASPIC Biomass model. The INRHs XSA model showed an inverse trend in F in comparison to SSB, with F increasing continuously during 2015-2017. 

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 18 July 2019

The Halieutis strategy, in place since 2009, for fisheries management and development comprises three pillars: sustainability of the resources, performance of the sector and competitiveness (National Aquaculture Development Agency (NADA) 2018). According to the management indicators, one of the main goals is that by 2020, 90% of the resources are sustainably managed. In late 2014, 85% of the Moroccan resources had a management plan (Hassouni 2015).

Sardine are managed within a small pelagic multi-species plan, implemented in the Central Zone in 2015 (Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime (MAPM) 2015). Measures are officially set by decrees. There is no harvest control rule (HCR) and nor a management set TAC in place. Rather, the fishery is regulated by effort limits and generic measures including fishing licensing and gear and vessel restrictions. The fishery may not operate in January or February, and within one mile of the coast at all times. Spanish coastal seiners are restricted to beyond 2 nautical miles (INRH 2016). A cap on annual catches for inshore purse seiners operating in the central Agadir area of Laayoune was introduced in 2017 (FAO 2019). Measures such as seasonal and area closures to protect juvenile and spawning fish (Département de la Pêche Maritime 2015)(Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime (MAPM) 2015)(INRH 2016), and a per trip catch limit for purse seiners (FAO 2018) are considered to have a positive influence on the status of the sardine and other small pelagic fisheries (INRH 2016; FAO 2019).

All landings are to be reported and logbooks are required (Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime (MAPM) 2008). A bycatch ceiling is defined at 3%. A monitoring, control and surveillance system (MCS) implemented since 2011 includes spatial, terrestrial and legal components for both inshore and offshore fleet  (Hassouni 2015).

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 18 July 2019

The FAO working group provides advised catch limits annually, but management has never established corresponding set TACs for the Central zone. Compliance relative to sub-sector quotas is not clear. Total catches occasionally exceed the scientific advised catch limit for the fishery (INRH 2015)(FAO 2016), but have been well below the recommended amount since 2014 (FAO 2019).

Under the strategy Halieutis, Morocco has implemented a number of policies and strategies to combat Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, including legislative and procedural measures, Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) technologies, and a national control plan (COMHAFAT/ATLAFCO 2015). There are historical signs of non-compliance (Pitcher et al. 2006); however, quantitative information on current rates of removal by IUU fishing appears scarce (Standing 2017). In 2010, an estimate of the 10-year average unreported catch rate was reported to be 10% in the demersal and pelagic fisheries combined (Belhabib et al. 2015). Reporting by the artisanal fleet is a particular area of concern, and recent studies indicate that official statistics do not accurately reflect the importance of this sector (INRH 2018). Data from INRH surveys in 2016 indicated that only 25% of the artisanal catch was reported (INRH 2016), and surveys in 2017 determined that in certain ports and fishing locations, most artisanal fishing units do not report their catches 

Past studies have found relatively low discard rates occurring in the coastal purse seine fishery (Belhabib et al. 2013)(INRH 2016); and preliminary results of a recent analysis of observer data from Morocco's small pelagic fisheries indicate that discards in the coastal purse seine sector remain low (INRH 2017). Morocco's VMS, in place since 2011, is indicated to serve as an effective deterrent tool (El Khalkhali and Yejjou 2017), with documented use in the enforcement of zoning restrictions (Département de la Pêche Maritime 2013)

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 2 May 2017

Sharks are commonly reported bycatch species in fisheries off Northwest Africa, and sea turtles including green and loggerhead turtles, manta rays, sun fish, and dolphins are also reported (Zeeberg et al. 2006)(Lopes et al. 2016). Interaction of the Moroccan small pelagic fisheries with protected species is poorly documented, but the INRH is conducting work in this area under the Moroccan sardine fishery improvement project (FIP). Preliminary analysis of recent observer data from the Moroccan RSW trawl and EU and Russian freezer trawl sectors has shown only minimal interaction with ETP species (1 cetacean, Delphinus delphis), and none in the purse seine fishery (INRH 2017). Interactions are considered less likely in this sector (Gascoigne 2014)

In accordance with commitments and recommendations made by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) (Moroccan Département de la Pêche Maritime (MDPM) 2016), the 2012-2017 ban on capture of sharks including hammerhead Sphyrna spp. (except bonnethead S. tiburo), oceanic whitetip Carcharhinus longimanus (Vulnerable on IUCN Red list (Baum et al. 2015)) and bigeye thresher Alopias superciliosus (Vulnerable on IUCN Red list (Amorim et al. 2009)) (Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime (MAPM) 2012) in Moroccan waters looks to have been renewed through 2022 (Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime (MAPM) 2017).

Other Species

Last updated on 2 May 2017

Discarded species are not fully identified or quantified yet, but preliminary results from an ongoing INRH study (INRH 2017) showed low occurrence of discards in purse seine fisheries in the Moroccan coastal purse seine sector. A limit threshold of 3% of the volume t of the total catch is in effect for most allowable bycatch species, except for bogue Boops boops for which the thershold is 10% (Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime (MAPM) 2015).

Sardine in 2016 was the main species caught (79%) in this multi-species fishery in the Central Zone, while mackerel, anchovy, and horse mackerel species represented 14%, 4% and 3% respectively of the total small pelagic catch (INRH 2016). Both cunene horse mackerel, Trachurus trecae and Atlantic horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus are over-exploited at the regional level (FAO 2018).  Stock status for round sardinella Sardinella aurita and Madeiran sardinella Sardinella maderensis, which are also captured in very low numbers in the Central Zone, was undeterminable for 2016; but both have been considered overexploited in the region consistently in previous years (FAO 2016)(FAO 2018)(FAO 2018). It does not appear that any of these species would be considered main retained species (i.e. as per MSC standards, >5% of total catch), and no other retained species were considered overexploited as of 2016 (FAO 2018).

Non-targeted catch in the Moroccan coastal purse seine fishery in the Central Zone is dominated by scombrid species, which in 2016 was comprised mainly of skipjack Katsuwonus pelamis (71%) (INRH 2016). However, the volume of non-targeted catch by either species or total catch, is unclear.

HABITAT

Last updated on 2 May 2017

The fleet operating in the distribution area of the central stock consists of Moroccan and Spanish coastal purse seiners (FAO 2008)(FAO 2016)(FAO 2018)(INRH 2016) and a small artisanal fleet (INRH 2016). The fleets are restricted to beyond 1 nautical mile offshore (2 nautical miles for the Spanish fleet). The fishing gears are not expected to interact with the seabed ecosystem (Gascoigne et al. 2017).

There are a number of seasonal area closures and protected areas in the region of distribution of the central stock. Two maritime areas are closed to fishing from June through August (Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime (MAPM) 2015). One marine protected area (MPA) – Sous Massa National Park National Park (Parc National), which is a no take zone, and a number of marine mangaged areas (MMAs) (e.g. Archipel d'Essaouira Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)) are declared (Marine Conservation Institute (MCI) 2018); but fishing regulations in the MMAs are unclear.

ECOSYSTEM

European pilchard and some of the other small pelagic species captured represent a key trophic role in the ecosystem (Gascoigne 2014). Small pelagic species are an important forage source for many other species.  There is some ambiguity, however, as to whether sardine qualify as a“key” lower trophic level (LTL) species according to MSC standards (Gascoigne 2017). The small pelagic species in this fishery are highly dependent on oceanographic conditions, namely on the upwelling of the NW Africa zone (e.g. (Larissi et al. 2013)(Alheit et al. 2014)).

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 18 July 2019

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2019 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

A management plan with effort limits was put in place in this area in 2015 (MAPM 2015); however, it is a multispecies plan, and there is no harvest control rule (HCR). The Institut National de Recherche Halieutique, (INRH) assesses the stocks in Morocco, but does not issue specific management advice. For 2018, the FAO working group under CECAF recommend that catches be maintained at 550,000 tonnes, the same level recommended for the past several years (FAO 2019b). Both the FAO and the INRH note the stock's sensitivity to environmental conditions, and advise for precautionary management and catch limits.

As calculated for 2019 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

The FAO working group provides advised catch limits annually, but management has never established corresponding TACs. There are however several input controls in place to limit exploitation rates. Effort regulation measures include fishing licensing, gear and vessel restrictions and seasonal and area closures (MAPM 2015). For purse seiners there is also a per trip limit, and an annual cap in certain areas (FAO 2018c; FAO 2019b).

As calculated for 2019 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

There is no TAC; catches occasionally exceed the advised catch limit for the fishery, but have been well below the limit since 2014 (FAO 2019b). Morocco has implemented a number of policies and strategies to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU), which is punishable by law (Gascoigne 2017). Information on current rates of removal by IUU fishing appears scarce (Standing 2017), and underreporting is a concern particularly for the artisanal sector (INRH 2018). Fishery observers are required onboard foreign vessels, and have recently also been placed aboard Moroccan vessels as part of a study on discards and ETP species interactions (Gascoigne 2014, 2017). Studies have found relatively low discard rates occurring in the coastal purse seine fishery (Belhabib et al. 2013; INRH 2017).

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2019 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

A variety of assessment methods by the FAO and INRH indicate different stock status ranges; however, results have been consistent in pattern from year to year ­– Schaefer dynamic production models (applied by the INRH and FAO) producing optimistic results and ASPIC models applied (by INRH) pointing toward a more overexploited state. Results of an “extended survivors analysis” (XSA), applied by the INRH, show SSB fluctuating slightly around a relatively stable level between 2010-2016, and below levels observed during 2005-2007.    Discrepancies notwithstanding, both the FAO and the INRH concluded that condition of the Central sardine stock in 2017 was not fully exploited (INRH 2018; FAO 2019). The latest FAO assessment estimated SSB well above the target biomass B0.1 (FAO 2019).

As calculated for 2019 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

As for biomass, estimates of fishing pressure relative to reference points vary widely among different assessment methods. Schaefer dynamic production models applied by the FAO working group and the INRH indicated fishing mortality (F) in 2017 to be well below target and limit reference points, while ASPIC models applied by the INRH indicate F was slightly to severely higher than target and limit reference points. Meanwhile the INRH’s application of an “extended survivors analysis" (XSA) model estimated the exploitation rate on the stock to be slightly above what is considered an appropriate limit reference point (0.4) for small pelagic species based on the work of Patterson (1992). The FAO working group projections indicate the Central sardine stock could sustain higher fishing pressure (FAO 2019b). However, the stock is susceptible to instability due to its sensitivity to climate dynamics. Given this, as well as uncertainty in the stock assessments, precautionary catch limits are advised (INRH 2018; FAO 2019b).

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES
  1. 2009-2017 Fishing mortality and biomass estimates are expressed here as the relative rate F/F0.1 and B/B0.1, respectively. B0.1 and F0.1 were adopted as target reference points and FMSY and BMSY as limit reference points (INRH 2018; FAO 2019).
  2. The biomass (B) and fishing mortality (F) ratios presented since 2013 are the FAO’s Schaefer Global Dynamic model results corresponding to their management recommendations. Results from this approach do not closely align with (are typically more optimistic than) results from other methods (e.g. ASPIC) (Indrajaya 2015; INRH 2015; INRH 2016; INRH 2016); NRH 2018). Qualitative interpretations, rather than computed scores, for Current Health and Future Health reflect the lack of consensus among model results.
  3. No fishing mortality (F) harvest control rule reducing F at low biomass values is defined. Meanwhile, there is an advised catch limit, but it has a two-year gap (i.e., advised TAC published in June 2019 is based on 2017 stock status); additionally, there is no TAC in place for this stock. Therefore, scoring of Management Strategy and Managers Compliance has been qualitatively interpreted, rather than computed. 
  4. The Fishers’ Compliance score has also been interpreted qualitatively, due to lack of a comprehensive, species-specific TAC limit, and reports of IUU fishing (please mouse-over for further details). 
  5. Landings shown for the NW Africa Central assessment unit for the period 1995-2017 are landings of S. pilchardus only, as reported in (FAO 2019), and summed across all fleets (Moroccan coastal and Spanish purse seiners) operating in Zones A and B. 
  6. Ecosystem impact scores and narratives were not updated in 2019.

Download Source Data

Registered users can download the original data file for calculating the scores after logging in. If you wish, you can Register now.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

SELECT FIP

Access FIP Public Report

Progress Rating: A
Evaluation Start Date: 1 Dec 2014
Type: Comprehensive

Comments:

FIP rating remains A for stage 4/5 progress in the past 12 months.

1.
FIP Development
Sep 15
2.
FIP Launch
Apr 15
Jan 19
3.
FIP Implementation
Jul 18
4.
Improvements in Fishing Practices and Fishery Management
Aug 18
5.
Improvements on the Water
Feb 19
6.
MSC certification (optional)
MSC certificate made public

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits

ACPFISH, 2011. Mise en place d’un processus de concertation sous-regional pour la gestion concerteee des petits pelagiques, Projet CU/PE1/SN/10/010, “Strengthening Fisheries Management in ACP Countries”, 146 p. http://acpfish2-eu.org/uploads/projects/id58/RTP2%20VERSION%20FINALE%2025%20MAI_complete.pdf

Alheit, J., Licandro, P., Coombs, S., Garcia, A., Giráldez, A., Santamaría, M. T. G., Slotte, A., Tsikliras, A. C. 2014. Reprint of “Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) modulates dynamics of small pelagic fishes and ecosystem regime shifts in the eastern North and Central Atlantic”, Journal of Marine Systems 133: 88–102 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924796314000347

Alverson DL, Murawski SA, Pope JG, 1994. A global assessment of fisheries bycatch and discards. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 339. Rome, FAO. http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/003/T4890E/T4890E00.htm

Bjordal, Å., 2002. The use of technical measures in responsible fisheries: regulation of fishing gear. In: Cochrane, K.L. (ed.), 2002. A fishery manager’s guidebook. Management measures and their application. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper no. 424. Rome, FAO.ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/004/y3427e/y3427e00.pdf

FAO, 2006. FAO Working Group on the Assessment of Small Pelagic Fish off Northwest Africa, Banjul, Gambia, 2–11 May 2006. FAO Fisheries Report No. 811. ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/a0827b/a0827b00.pdf

FAO, 2007. Report of the FAO Working Group on the Assessment of Small Pelagic Fish off Northwest Africa, Agadir, Morocco, 17–26 April 2007. FAO Fisheries Report No. 849. http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a1485b/a1485b00.htm

FAO, 2008. Report of the FAO Working Group on the Assessment of Small Pelagic Fish off Northwest Africa, Saly, Senegal, 6–15 May 2008. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report No. 882. http://www.fao.org/docrep/011/i0467b/i0467b00.htm

FAO, 2011a. Report of the FAO Working Group on the Assessment of Small Pelagic Fish off Northwest Africa, Nouakchott, Mauritania, 21–30 April 2009. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report No. 965. http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/i2237b/i2237b.pdf

FAO, 2011b. Report of the FAO Working Group on the Assessment of Small pelagic fish off Northwest Africa, Banjul, the Gambia, 18–22 May 2010. FAO Fisheries Report No. 975. http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i2236b/i2236b.pdf

FAO, 2013a. Report of the FAO Working Group on the Assessment of the Small Pelagic Fish off Northwest Africa. Casablanca, Morocco, 24–28 May 2011. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report No. 1026, FIRF/R1026 (Bi), 267 pp. http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/i3135b/i3135b.pdf

FAO, 2013b. Report of the FAO Working Group on the Assessment of Small Pelagic Fish off Northwest Africa. Dakar, Senegal 21–25 May 2012. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report. No. 1036. Rome. 245 pp. http://www.fao.org/docrep/019/i3346b/i3346b.pdf

FAO, 2016a. Report of the FAO Working Group on the Assessment of Small Pelagic Fish off Northwest Africa. Casablanca, Morocco, 20–25 July 2015. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report. No. 1122. Rome. 243 pp. http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5511bb.pdf

FAO, 2016b. Status summary for small pelagic stocks in the Northern area of the Eastern Central Atlantic. Main outcomes of the FAO Working Group on the Assessment of Small Pelagic Fish off Northwest Africa 2012-2015, Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic, Scientific Sub-Committee, Seventh Session, Tenerife, Spain, 14-16 October 2015, CECAF/SSCVII/2015/2, 17pp.ftp://ftp.fao.org/fi/document/cecaf/cecaf_SSC7/old/2_pve.pdf

Gascoigne, J. 2014a. Pêche de sardine au Maroc Plan de travail pour l'année 1 de la FIP (2014-2015). Version validée, 1 décembre 2014, 8pp. http://fisheryimprovementprojects.org/wp-content/uploads/Plan-de-travail-du-FIP-final.pdf

Gascoigne, J. 2014b. Moroccan sardine fishery: assessment in relation to the MSC standard, final version – 29 October 2014, 17pp.http://fisheryimprovementprojects.org/wp-content/uploads/sustainability-evaluation-final-FINAL-29oct2014.pdf

Gascoigne, J. 2016. Moroccan sardine fishery : assessment in relation to the MSC standard UPDATED – February 2016, Moroccan Sardine FIP, 28pp. http://fisheryimprovementprojects.org/wp-content/uploads/Sustainability-evaluation-Fev2016.pdf

Hassouni, F.Z. and Elmonfaloti, N. 2011. Plan d’aménagement des petits pélagiques, Département de la Pêche Maritime, Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime, 26pp.http://www.faocopemed.org/pdf/reg_net_dbases/Plan%20d%E2%80%99am%C3%A9nagement%20des%20petits%20p%C3%A9lagiques_Hassouni%20and%20El%20Monfaloti.pdf

Institut National the Recherche Halieutique (INRH), undated. Petit pélagiques, Production [Accessed 23 February 2015]http://www.inrh.ma/petits-pelagiques/production

Institut National the Recherche Halieutique (INRH 2015). Etat des stocks et des pêcheries Marocaines 2014. December, 2015. http://www.inrh.ma/sites/default/files/etat_des_stocks_2014_rapport_final.pdf

Institut National the Recherche Halieutique (INRH 2016). Etat des stocks et des pêcheries Marocaines 2015. August, 2016. http://www.inrh.ma/sites/default/files/etat_stocks2015_inrh_rectif.pdf

IUCN, 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. [Accessed on 02 February 2012]. http://www.iucnredlist.org

Larissi, Jamila, Berraho, A., Makaoui, A., Baibai, T., Somoue, L. Benazzouz, A, Zizah, S., Agouzouk, A., Hilmi, K. 2013. Impact of Inter-annual Coastal Upwelling Variability (2001-2010) on the productivity of the Moroccan Atlantic South Area (21° - 26°N), Journal of Marine Biology and Oceanography 2:1 http://scitechnol.com/impact-of-interannual-coastal-upwelling-variability-on-productivity-of-moroccan-atlantic-south-area--n-pCHe.pdf

Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries (MAMF), 2012. The valorization of Small Pelagics Fish in the Moroccan “Halieutis” Strategy, Department of Marine Fisheries, The North Atlantic Seafood Conference, Oslo, March 8th, 2012, 21 p.http://prod.dfox.com/public/images/0000438021/000/059/0000595625.pdf

Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime (MAPM), 2015a. Le development du secteur halieutique au Maroc: Entre exigences de compétitivité et impératifs de durabilité, Département de la Pêche Maritime, Royaume du Maroc, 21pp. http://www.ires.ma/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/hassouni.pdf

Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime (MAPM), 2015b. Arrêté du ministre de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche Maritime nº 4196-14 du safar 1436 (25 novembre 2014) relative à la pêcherie des petits pélagiques de l’Atlantique Nord-Méditerranée et à la pêcherie de petits pélagiques de l’Atlantique Centre. Bulletin Officiel nº 6322 – 9 rabii 1 1436 (1er -1-2015), 4pp. BO-6322-FR-_D_cision_MPM_-_Am_nagement_des_p_cheries_petits_p_lagiques.pdf

Moore, J, undated. Project Global: Global Bycatch Assessment of Long-lived species, Regional Assessment- West Africa. Duke Center for Marine Conservation, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Beaufort, USA. 27 pp.http://bycatch.nicholas.duke.edu/regions/WestAfrica/W%20Africa.pdf

Moroccan National Fisheries Research Institute (Institut National de Recherche Halieutique, INRH), 2015. Etat des Stocks et des Pêcheries Marocaines 2014, 319pp. http://www.inrh.ma/sites/default/files/rapport_etat_des_stocks_2014.pdf

Naji, M. 2013. Session thématique III – Intégrer la pêche artisanale dans les aires marines protégés (AMP), Premier symposium régional sur la pêche artisanale durable en Méditerranée et en mer Noire, 27–30 novembre 2013, St. Julian’s, Malte, 6 pp.http://www.ssfsymposium.org/Documents/Presentations/TS_III/N.IIIO.7_Naji.pdf

Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), 2013. Protocol between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco L 328/2, 7.12.2013, 38 pp. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:328:0002:0039:EN:PDF

Rojo‐Diaz, P., Pitcher, T.J., Pramod, G. 2006. An Estimation of Compliance of the Fisheries of Morocco with Article 7 (Fisheries Management) of the UN Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing, 13 pp. In: Pitcher, T.J., Kalikoski, D. and Pramod, G. (eds). Evaluations of Compliance with the UN Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Fisheries Centre Research Reports 14(2)http://www.fisheries.ubc.ca/webfm_send/179

Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), 2013. Review of scientific advice for 2014 – part 3 (STECF-13-26), Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, EUR 26324 EN, JRC 86110, 297 pp.http://stecf.jrc.ec.europa.eu/documents/43805/648827/2013-11_STECF+13-26+-+Review+of+advice+for+2014_part3_JRC86110.pdf

Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), 2014. Review of scientific advice for 2015 – Part 3 (STECF-14-22), Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, EUR 26942 EN, JRC 92955, 404 pp.http://stecf.jrc.ec.europa.eu/documents/43805/861036/2014-11_STECF+14-22+-+Review+of+advice+for+2015+-+part+3_JRC92955.pdf

Tandstad, M. and Caramelo, A.M. 2012. Assessment and management advice for small pelagic fish off Northwest Africa. In/Dans S. Garcia, M. Tandstad and A.M. Caramelo (eds.). Science and Management of Small Pelagics. Symposium on Science and the Challenge of Managing Small Pelagic Fisheries on Shared Stocks in Northwest Africa, 11–14 March 2008, Casablanca, Morocco/Science et aménagement des petits pélagiques. Symposium sur la science et le défi de l’aménagement des pêcheries de petits pélagiques sur les stocks partagés en Afrique nord-occidentale, 11-14 mars 2008, Casablanca, Maroc. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Proceedings/FAO Comptes rendus des pêches et de l’aquaculture. No. 18. Rome, FAO. pp. 505–514 ftp://ftp.fao.org/fi/Cdrom/P18_CDROM/root/new/SYMPOSIUM_PART2THEME4-POSTERSPAPERS/P4.3%20WGposter_ANA.pdf

Wood LJ, 2007. MPA Global: A database of the world's marine protected areas. Sea Around Us Project, UNEP-WCMC & WWF.http://www.mpaglobal.org

References

    Comments

    This tab will disappear in 5 seconds.

    Comments on:

    European pilchard - NW Africa central

    comments powered by Disqus