Original Articles

Quantifying commercial catch and effort of monkfish Lophius vomerinus and L. vaillanti off Namibia


Abundance and exploitation patterns of monkfish Lophius vomerinus and L. vaillanti were investigated for use as inputs into a stock assessment framework to be used for management of the Namibian monkfish resource. Total numbers of monkfish caught per size-class were estimated using industry records of tail products classified into six commercial categories. The proportions per category varied each year. Analysis of the commercial data suggests that large numbers of juvenile monkfish are harvested annually. Catch-per-unit-effort (cpue) data of vessels targeting monkfish and sole (the two species are combined in terms of Namibian fleet legislation) for the period 1991–1999 were analysed using two different methods to construct indices of abundance. Both indices, one standardized on vessel horsepower and the other standardized by means of a Generalized Linear Model, showed an increase in catch rate of monkfish from 1991 to 1994 and between 1996 and 1998, but a decline from 1994 to 1996 as well as during 1999. Conversion factors for landed or tail weight to whole weight for four different tail products of monkfish were estimated. Results obtained from the study suggest that the factor of 3.04 currently applied in Namibia to all tail-weight classes is not appropriate for the current fishery and needs to be amended. For management purposes it is also suggested that four different conversion factors, one for each monkfish tail product, be implemented.

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