Ecosystem-based resource assessment and management system for Red Sea fisheries off Egypt
Mohamed Abdelaty Mahdy
Thesis for the Degree of Master of Fisheries Science
KOICA-PKUN International Graduated Program of Fisheries Science
Graduate School of Global Fisheries – PUKYONG National University
Fish landings in the Egyptian waters of the Red Sea have declined substantially from 82.400 metric ton in the 1999s to 44.000 Metric ton in 2010 due to overfishing. Fish habitat quality in the Red Sea has been degraded by anthropogenic activities including tourism activities and costal pollution. In this study an ecosystem-based fisheries assessment (EBFA) approach Tier 2 developed by Zhang et al. (2011) have been used to assess the Red Sea fisheries. Nested risk indices, such as objectives risk index (ORI), species risk index (SRI), fishery risk index (FRI), and ecosystem risk index (ERI), were estimated status of the two years. The results of the status of the two years were compared. Management status indices for 2012 have shown significant negative change compared to condition 2002 with respect to sustainability, biodiversity, ecosystem habitat quality and socio-economy. From the assessment of seven fish species risk index by the Tier 2 approach, the Egypt Red Sea had 80% of indicators in the green zone, 18.1% in the yellow zone and 1.9% in the red zone in 2002. But in 2012 had 27.6% of indicator in the desirable green zone. 48.6% in yellow zone and 23.8% in red zone. Three fisheries namely: purse seine, trawl and long line in 2002 had risk index 0.44, 0.79 and 0.46 respectively and fall in desirable green zone. But in 2012 they had risk index 1.78, 1.85 and 1.24 respectively and fall in yellow zone. The Egyptian Red Sea ecosystem has risk index 0.70 in 2002 and fall in desirable green zone but in 2012 had 1.69 and fall in yellow zone. Recent 2012 management status indices have shown significant negative change compared to condition 2002 with respect to sustainability of the stock and fishery and with regards to biodiversity and ecosystem habitat quality and socio-economy. Therefore, the Red Sea fisheries management system need to be established considering four management objectives suggested in the study in order to improve the Red Sea marine ecosystem by reducing risk indices for each management objective.
Overview of Red Sea fisheries:-
The fish production developed dramatically in Egypt through the last ten years until 2012 to reach to 1.371.975 tons from capture fisheries and aquaculture. There are more than 354.237 metric ton of fish taken from Egyptian marine waters every year, and they are harvested by about 26.354 fishing vessels using 39 gear types (GAFRD, 2013). The total fish capture from the Mediterranean Sea in that year was 69.332 tons; representing 5.05% from the total fish capture from the Red Sea was 44.866 tons at same year, representing 3.27% from the total fish production in Egypt (GAFRD, 2013) with the extreme attention to the fisheries stock assessment of marine fisheries where working to find a proper management plan and sustainable fisheries management to maintain the depletion of fish stocks and reduce the catch effort from overfishing. So the Red Sea had chosen as study site where is playing an important role in contributing to the fish production in Egypt dramatically. Since 1997 the Red Sea total fish production recorded a significant increase (Fig. 12). These increases have come from significant increases in fishing fleet capacity, including increase in vessel numbers as well as the upgrading of fishing efficiency of existing vessels.