Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Elasmobranch exploitation in Africa

M. Kroese and W. H. H. Sauer

Marine and Freshwater Research 49(7) 573 - 577
Published: 1998


The impact of fisheries on elasmobranchs in Africa is not well documented. Available data suggest that there are no large shark fishing nations (> 10000 t year-1), reported landings for 1994 being around 39 000 t. This value is believed to be a underestimate, because of a lack of data on catches and landings from the various different fishing methods and the large number of nations fishing in African waters. Existing data are mostly linked to industrial fisheries, although the artisanal sector could be responsible for substantial catches. Landed by-catch and discard rates of elasmobranchs are unknown for most commercial fisheries targeting teleosts. Limited data sources allowed only crude estimates of catch. The artisanal fishery is calculated to land a minimum of 20 000 t of sharks, whereas the industrial trawl sector is likely to catch 23 000 t. A conservative estimate for the African continent and the surrounding islands is ~95 000 t. The quality of catch-and-effort data for both commercial and subsistence fisheries on the African continent needs to be improved, and the by-catch issue should be investigated through trained onboard observers.

© CSIRO 1998

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