Last updated on 14 December 2015

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 the central stock in 2015.
  • Some (but not all) models used to assess the stock in 2016 indicate a trend of increasing biomass.
  • 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
  • Stock status is uncertain based analyses by the INRH and FAO, from which results ranging from not fully exploited to overexploited were found; fishing pressure may be too high.
  • Catch advice provided by the FAO working group is not released in a timely manner, and no catch limits are defined by management.
  • The management plan is not species specific, and there is no harvest control rule.
  • Catches have often exceeded advised limits in the past (though not since 2014).
  • 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:

≥ 6

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.
  • 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 assessment model and input data (catches, discards, biological data) to reduce the level of uncertainty in the assessment.
  • 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 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 27 April 2017

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 the central stock in 2015.
  • Some (but not all) models used to assess the stock in 2016 indicate a trend of increasing biomass.
  • 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
  • Stock status is uncertain based analyses by the INRH and FAO, from which results ranging from not fully exploited to overexploited were found; fishing pressure may be too high.
  • Catch advice provided by the FAO working group is not released in a timely manner, and no catch limits are defined by management.
  • The management plan is not species specific, and there is no harvest control rule.
  • Catches have often exceeded advised limits in the past (though not since 2014).
  • 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 24 September 2018

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.
  • 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 assessment model and input data (catches, discards, biological data) to reduce the level of uncertainty in the assessment.
  • 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 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 2 May 2017

Stock assessments have typically been performed by the FAO’s working group on the assessment of small pelagic fish off Northwest Africa; but Morocco’s Institut National de Recherche Halieutique, (INRH) has also been publishing stock status reports in recent years (Indrajaya 2015)(INRH 2015)(INRH 2016)(INRH 2016). Publication timing is quite variable. The latest published reports by both the FAO and the INRH assess the stock’s status using data through 2016 (INRH 2016)(FAO 2018). The INRH applied two Schaefer (Schaefer 1954) global production model approaches in its most recent assessment of the central stock: 1) a biomass dynamic (BIODYN) model developed by CECAF, and 2) A Stock-Production Model Incorporating Covariates (ASPIC) model, known by its integration of variability and uncertainty (INRH 2016) . Their methods adjust total catches by abundance indices from acoustic surveys and fisheries. The INRH’s BIODYN treatment included the addition of a qualitative environmental variable. While the BIODYN assessments indicated good stock status relative to target and limit reference points (B2016/B0.1=1.43, and B2016/BMSY=1.57 respectively),  the ASPIC results (using two different adjustments) were far less optimistic (B2016/B0.1=0.63 and 0.64; B2016/BMSY=0.69 and 0.70), indicating a state of overexploitation. The BIODYN result was reported to produce a satisfactory fit. Meanwhile, the FAO Working Group on the Assessment of Small Pelagics off Northwest Africa also applied a BIODYN type model using catches fit with two series of abundance data (FAO 2018c). Results were similar to the INRH BIODYN result (B2016/B0.1=1.38, and B2016/BMSY = 1.52), and the FAO Working Group interpreted the stock status to be non-fully exploited. The INRH, carried out a third method, “extended survivors analysis” (XSA) which showed biomass to be in a trend of gradual increase between 2010-2016, and indicated the stock status to be fully exploited.

Results with respect to fishing mortality were also varied. The INRH’s CECAF and XSA approaches (INRH 2016) both indicated the stock is not fully exploited relative both the target (F2016/F0.1 estimated to be 44% and 74% by the two methods respectively) and limit (F2016/FMSY estimated to be 0.4 by both methods) reference points. The FAO results by the CECAF method gave the same result as for the INRH’s (F2016/F0.1= 44% and F2016/FMSY=0.4). Conversely, both ASPIC model approaches indicated fishing pressure is excessive – results from the two aproaches (Biomass and CPUE adjusted) were: F2016/F0.1 = 114% and F2016/FMSY = 103%; and F2016/F0.1 = 160% and F2016/FMSY = 144%. While the ASPIC models are somewhat limited in that they do not account for environmental effects on stock size, the results are nonetheless considered by the INRH.

Morocco consistently conducts acoustic surveys in the central region (FAO 2016)(FAO 2018)(FAO 2018). There is also a biological sampling program in Moroccan ports, though sampling intensity is typically lower in the Central Zone ports than for ports in the Northern and Southern zones.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 2 May 2017

Since 2001, scientific advice has been provided annually by a FAO working group of scientists who assess the status of small pelagic resources in NW Africa, under the Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic Fisheries (CECAF), who assess the status of small pelagic resources in NW Africa, and recommend management options geared towards their optimal and sustainable exploitation (Garcia et al. 2012)(FAO 2018). Reports are usually released with a significant time-lag.

Relative biological reference points are used for the stock due to the uncertainty in estimating absolute values (FAO 2006)(INRH 2016)(FAO 2018). 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.

Stock assessments reports published by the INRH (Indrajaya 2015)(INRH 2015)(INRH 2016)(INRH 2016) present results from multiple models, and make general recommendations, but do not offer specific catch advice. The usual practice of the FAO working group, meanwhile, is to publish and make specific recommendations based on a single modeling approach (FAO 2018). While the FAO interpreted stock status in 2016 to be still not fully exploited, and likely able to sustain an increase in catches, they advised that the stocks sensitivity to hydroclimatic changes requires the adoption of a precautionary approach. As in past years, the FAO also advised that a catch limit be adopted; and for 2017, they recommended maintaining catches at 550,000 tonnes, the same as for 2016. 

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 2 May 2017

The condition of the central sardine stock is uncertain based on the mixed results obtained by the FAO and INRH stock assessments.  While the FAO working group interpreted the stock to be "not fully exploited", as indicated based on their BIODYN type model result (FAO 2018), the INRH did not reject or accept any one result presented from their different approaches, which indicated a range of different stock conditions from "not fully exploited" to "overexploited" (INRH 2016). However, there was general consistency with results obtained by respective similar models in the prior year (categorically speaking - e.g. "not fully exploited", "fully exploited" or "overexploited"), indicating the stock in 2016 was in a similar condition as in 2015. All of the INRH and FAO models indicated slightly higher biomass with respect to reference points (with the exception of one ASPIC result), and a decreasing, stable or increasing fishing mortality trend depending on the model (significantly increasing based on the ASPIC models; stable or decreasing based on BIODYN results). The INRH's new XSA approach also indicated a trend of increasing biomass.


Sardine dominate small pelagic catches in the NW Africa subregion. In the Central Zone in 2016, catches were 440,485 tonnes (FAO 2018), comprising 79% of the multispecies harvest (INRH 2016). The amount was an increase from 2015 when catches were 366,894 tonnesand significantly down from the record 745,000 tonnes attained in 2001 (FAO 2018). Since 2011, catches have fluctuated within a smaller range, between approximately 350,000 and 440,000 tonnes, except for in 2014 when catches reached over 570,000 tonnes. Spatio-temporal closures and marine mammal (bottlenose dolphin) interaction with (i.e. dolphin "attacks on")  purse seiners were considered potential influences resulting in reduced catches in the Central Zone in 2015 (INRH 2016). The vast majority of the catch in the Central Zone occurs in Zone B (FAO 2018).

Catch per unit effort (CPUE) for Moroccan purse seiners has fluctuated in a relatively stable range over the long term, between approximately 10 and 20 tonnes per trip, since 1983, with the exception of an unusually high value recorded for 2001 (FAO 2018).  A gradual decrease from 2010, to the long-term low CPUE recorded in 2015, was followed by a slight increase in 2016.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 2 May 2017

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 known formal harvest control rule (HCR) and no management set TAC. 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 bycatch ceiling is defined at 3%. 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 effect on the status of this and other small pelagic stocks (INRH 2016)(FAO 2018).

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

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 2 May 2017

Fishers’ compliance regarding management quotas cannot be measured, as no official TACs are defined despite annual recommendations by the FAO that a catch limit be established. Catches occasionally exceed the scientific advised catch limit for the fishery (INRH 2015)(FAO 2016), but were well below the recommended amount in 2015 and 2016 (FAO 2018).

Under the strategy Halieutis, Morocco has implemented a number of policies and strategies to combat Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, including implementation of legislative and procedural measures, investment in Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) technologies, and implementation of 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). Underreporting of catch by the artisanal fleet is a particular area of concern; data from INRH surveys in 2016 indicate that only 25% of the artisanal catch was reported (INRH 2016).

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 23 August 2018

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

A management plan with effort limits was put in place in this area in 2015 (MAPM 2015); however there is no formal harvest control rule (HCR). The Institut National de Recherche Halieutique, (INRH) assesses the stocks in Morocco, but does not issue formal management advice. However, the stock is also assessed by FAO, who note the stock's sensitivity to environmental conditions, and advise for precautionary management and catch limits. For 2017, they recommend that catches be maintained, as for 2015 and 2016, at 550,000 tonnes (FAO 2018c).

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

There is no management set TAC for the Central area. The fishery is effort regulated, and measures include fishing licensing, gear and vessel restrictions and seasonal and area closures to protect juvenile and spawning fish (MAPM 2015; Gascoigne 2016). There is also a per trip limit for purse seiners (FAO 2018c).

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

There is no TAC; catches occasionally exceed the advised catch limit for the fishery, but were well below the limit in 2015 and 2016 (FAO 2018c). 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 2016). 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 2016 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Several applications of a Schaefer Global Dynamic model (developed by CECAF) by INRH (2016b) yielded contradictory results; the CECAF method indicated “non-fully exploited” status, with biomass, B2016 estimated to be 143% of the target reference point (TRP), B0.1, an increase over the prior year result by the same model (biomass estimated at 135% of the LRP). Very similar results were found by FAO (2018c) using the same general methodology (B2016 138% of the TRP); and the FAO accordingly concluded the stock was “not fully exploited”. Meanwhile, the INRH’s two “ASPIC” method results indicated an overexploited stock - B2016 at only 63% and 64% of B0.1. The INRH, carried out a third method, “extended survivors analysis” (XSA) which showed biomass to be in a trend of gradual increase between 2010-2016, and indicated the stock status to be “fully exploited”. A consideration of the ASPIC models is that they do not account for non-fishing influences on stock size, such as climatological dynamics, which have been observed to have comparatively greater influence on the fluctuations of this stock (INRH 2016b).

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Projections are somewhat inconclusive, based on different analyses. The INRH’s CECAF and XSA approaches (INRH 2016b) both indicated the stock is not fully exploited, with (F2016/F0.1 estimated to be 44% and 74% by the two methods respectively. The FAO results by the CECAF method gave the same result as for the INRH’s (F2016/F0.1 = 44%). Conversely, both ASPIC model approaches indicated fishing pressure is excessive – results from the two aproaches (Biomass and CPUE adjusted) were: F2016/FMSY = 103% and F2016/F0.1 = 114%; and F2016/FMSY = 144% and F2016/F0.1 = 160%. While the ASPIC models are somewhat limited in that they do not account for environmental effects on stock size, the results are nonetheless considered by the INRH. The FAO concluded that while their projections show that the stock could support an increase in catches, its instability with respect to hydro-climatic changes necessitates a precautionary approach, and they advised restricting catches to previously advised limits.

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. 2009-2016 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 2016)(FAO 2018).
  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). 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 known to exist, and there is an advised catch limit, but no set TAC; 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, and reports of IUU fishing (please mouse-over for further details). 
  5. Landings shown for the NW Africa Central assessment unit for the period 1995-2016 are landings of S. pilchardus only, as reported in (FAO 2018), and summed across all fleets (Moroccan coastal and Spanish purse seiners) operating in Zones A and B. 

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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  and 5 progress in the past 12 months - increase in PI scores 2.3.1. and 2.2.1

1.
FIP Development
Sep 15
2.
FIP Launch
Apr 15
Dec 17
3.
FIP Implementation
Jul 18
4.
Improvements in Fishing Practices and Fishery Management
Aug 18
5.
Improvements on the Water
Jul 18
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

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