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  • The rapid catch of marine megafauna (marine mammals, sea turtles and elasmobranchs) poses a threat to these vulnerable species.The purpose of this study is to assess bycatch and use of vulnerable megafauna (marine mammals, sea turtles and elasmobranchs) in the SWIO artisanal fisheries using interview surveys. This study focuses on areas where bycatch of vulnerable megafauna has been previously identified, suspected or least known as for the east coast of Africa (Mozambique). This study also provides recommendations for future research, management and mitigation of vulnerable megafauna bycatch in artisanal fisheries of the SWIO region Results collected in this study are consistent with previous local studies, undertaken in the southwest Indian Ocean, both in term of species involved and bycatch incidence.

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    The hydroacoustic survey covered the shelf and slope to about 2500 m bottom depth. Continuous acoustic recording and analysis was carried throughout the survey. Pelagic trawling was carried out for pelagic species identification, mainly during dark hours, either as random blind trawl hauls close to the surface with pelagic trawl equipped with large floats, or on registrations. In addition blind surface hauls were made at intervals and at the start and end of each environmental transect to determine the distribution and species composition of juvenile fish. The highest acoustic densities where found over the shelf and shelf break while further out the recordings were lower and the catches more dominated by plankton and mesopelagic fish towards deeper waters. The dispersed fish distribution and high abundance of plankton made acoustic detection and separation very difficult, and thresholding according to the Cotel methods were used. The acoustic estimates for the pelagic species groups PEL 1 (Clupeidae) and PEL 2 (Carangidae, Sphyraenidae, Trichiuridae and Scombridae) shown a biomass of 6.1× and 3.5× higher than the estimate presented in the 2007 Ecosystem Survey report for the whole Mozambique coast. The differences between the 2007 and present survey acoustic estimates should not be taken as indications of large increases in species abundance. During the present survey new methods for analysing and interpreting the acoustic data were used and these methodological differences are probably the major cause in the differences in abundance between 2007 and 2009. Pelagic species were observed both acoustically and in trawl catches along the whole survey track. The PEL 1 group was observed from 10° -13° 30’S, then from 14° S to the end of the survey. In 2007 no PEL 1 was observed in this region. The main distribution was over the shelf, but PEL1 were also observed over deeper (>1000m) waters. The PEL 2 group (Carangidae, Sphyraenidae, Trichiuridae and Scombridae) were found from 11° 30’S to the southern end of the survey. The main distribution area was over the shelf and shelf break, but like the PEL 1 group the distribution extended into deeper (>1000m) waters. Compared to the 2007 survey the distribution was wider and extended further to the north. Zooplankton was sampled at 42 stations using the multinet. The multinet was deployed after measuring the fluorescence profile using the fluorometer mounted on the CTD rosette. Nets were deployed at different depths above and below the depth of highest fluorescence: two above f-max, one through f-max, two below f-max. Samples for the multinet have been preserved in formalin solution but not analyzed in any way. Therefore, no results from the zooplankton investigations can be reported in this preliminary survey report. During the survey a total of 213 species were identified. The fish species caught are grouped according to functional groups. Pelagic trawl catches of fish were grouped according to fish depth of the trawl. In the surface layer the ‘Other’ and ‘Scombrids’ groups dominated due to one or two very large catches. Down to 20 meters the ‘Other’ group still dominated but here hairtails as the second most important. At 20-100 meters Clupeids were the dominant group with one catch 10× as large as the second largest. Deeper than 100 meters the mesopelagic fish dominated, although the catch rates were less than closer to the surface. Dedicated observations of marine mammals were carried out on 19 August along the coast while steaming towards Pemba. The course was set close to shore to cover bays where whales and birds had been observed during surveying southwards. A total of 31 birds and 29 humpback whales were observed from 06:10 to 17:38. A large school of fish was seen feeding actively at the surface next to a mangrove forest. Feeding continued for over 15 minutes and the fish were repeatedly jumping out of the water.

  • This is a report of retrospective analysis of Marine mammals, Sea turtles, Seabirds, Elasmobranchs, Vulnerable fishes, Critical habitats, Macrobenthic biota, Biodiversity hotspots and Bycatch assessment in the Western Indian Ocean region

  • Cruise 6 of the R/V ANTON BRUUN, originating from Bombay on May 15 and terminating at Durban, South America on July 16, 1964 was the second of 2 cruises on which a special effort was made to smple the meso- and bathypelagic fauna of the Western Indian Ocean.. This report presents the reduced oceanographic, chemical and biological data, station lists of plankton, midwater trawl, miscellaneous biological collections, and bathythermograph positions for Cruise 6.

  • The rapid catch of marine megafauna (marine mammals, sea turtles and elasmobranchs) poses a threat to these vulnerable species.The purpose of this study is to assess bycatch and use of vulnerable megafauna (marine mammals, sea turtles and elasmobranchs) in the SWIO artisanal fisheries using interview surveys. This study focuses on areas where bycatch of vulnerable megafauna has been previously identified, suspected or least known as for the east coast of Africa (Tanzania). This study also provides recommendations for future research, management and mitigation of vulnerable megafauna bycatch in artisanal fisheries of the SWIO region Results collected in this study are consistent with previous local studies, undertaken in the southwest Indian Ocean, both in term of species involved and bycatch incidence.

  • During Cruises 2 and 5 of the National Science Foundation research ship Anton Bruun in the Indian Ocean, scientists from the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries Biological Laboratory, Honolulu, conducted long line fishing as part of the fishery phase of the U.S. biological effort in the International Indian Ocean Expedition. The catch consisted of 431 tunas (yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, and albacore), 124 sharks, and 259 other fish. Additional specimens were taken by trolling (14), by rod and reel (61), and by hand line (14). Physical, chemical and biological data were collected.

  • A deep line-fishing survey of various islands and offshore banks in the Western Indian Ocean was made during January and February 1969 by a Royal Society Expedition whose primary objective was to search for the coelacanth, LATIMERIA CHALUMNAE and thereby extend its known range. The survey was carried out from F.R.V. MANIHINE (109 ft O.A.; 208 G.T.); details are given in the itinerary, the fishing gear, fishing methods and the individual species caught, together with a brief discussion on the effect of depth, height of hooks above sea floor and geographical position on the composition of the catches.

  • The East African coastal region was divided into three areas: Northern, Central and Southern regions. The original intention was to make regular bi-monthly longlining cruises, alternating northern and southern areas with certain central areas sampled on each cruise but constant mechanical failures in MANIHINE before or during cruises made it impossible to follow the laid down programme; hence the erratic nature of the fishing and sampling heavily biased towards the North East monsoon. This report gives an outline of the major features of the water masses.

  • Cruise 5 of the R/V ANTON BRUUN originated from Bombay on January 26 and terminated at Bombay on May 4, 1963. A special program of longline fishing was conducted to study the distribution and abundance of pelagic fishes in the Western Indian Ocean in the period of northeast monsoon. This report presents the station lists, bathythermograph positions and reduced oceanographic, chemical and biological data for Cruise 5. It includes a summary of the longline catch by stations.

  • Cruise 3 of the R/V ANTON BRUUN, originating from Bombay and terminating at Port Louis, Mauritius in 1963, was the first Cruise on which a special effort was made to sample the meso- and bathypelagic fauna on the western Indian Ocean. This report presents the reduced oceanographic, chemical and biological data, station lists of plankton, midwater trawl, miscellaneous biological collections and bathythermograph positions for Cruise 3.