Development of ecological sustainable fisheries practices in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (EcoFish) (38847)

Project Details


EcoFish promotes the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) and is conducted in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME), encompassing fish stocks from Angola, Namibia and South Africa.

The objectives are:
1. Adaptation of state-of-art assessments methods and Marine Protected Areas (MPA) planning tools
2. Validation or modification of current assessment practices based on spatially explicit analyses
3. Incorporation of stakeholders’ knowledge in data collection and analysis
4. Strengthening of regional capacity to apply the developed assessment tools on a regular basis.

The project represents a paradigm shift compared to DTU Aqua 20 years of FAO/Danida courses in the 80’s and 90’s, where fish stock assessment was taught in 85 countries by using comparative simple techniques. In contrast EcoFish applies advance stock assessment methodology based on open access, web-based state space (SAM) and geostatistical (GeoPop) tools. Thus the capacity building involved also includes a focus on DTU Aqua because of similar ongoing challenges in the Nordic seas, and two DTU Aqua PhD projects are integrated in EcoFish.

Focus in Ecofish is on hake, horse mackerel and sardinella, coordination to important donor projects in the area such as the Norwegian climate project NansClim and EAF-Nansen is ensured through the leadership of Benguela Current Commission. There are potential synergies to several EU projects (FP6 IMAGE, FP7 MEECE and FP7 FACTS) as well as national projects such as Sunfish (Description of the life cycle and recruitment of cod) and REX/RESOURCE (fishermen-science collaboration on cod in the North Sea). The potential database for BCLME is unique and EcoFish offers the possibility for developing a master example to be used as a generic tool in African Large Marine Ecosystems as well as the large lakes.

The project is coordinated by Benguela Current Commission, Namibia and funded by EuropeAid.

Research area: Marine Living Resources
Research area: Marine Population and Ecosystem Dynamics
Effective start/end date01/01/201131/12/2015