Brief report on Moroccan fishery
Moroccan coasts are fringed in the North by the Mediterranean Sea and the West by the Atlantic Ocean. The continental shelf is characterized by the presence of wind driven stream, which makes the coastal waters extremely rich in nutritive salts and high biological productivity.
The objectives assigned to the fishery sector were:
· to contribute to nutritional status of the population by increasing the fish consumption.
· to improve the balance of payments by fish exports for hard currencies
· to provide employment. In this framework, investments have been made to set up new infrastructure, to survey new markets, to train the workforce and to institute reforms.
The fishery sector is playing an increasingly important role in the Moroccan economy, realizing a gross value of fishery outputs 7 761 Million DH, employing about 200 000 people and supplying about 25 percent of animal protein intake in the country. The sector contributes approximately two percent of the GDP and has a leading rank in exports.
Fishing in Morocco is based on nearly 65 species of fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. These species are generally divided into the following groups: merlucciidae: 2 species, sparids: 15 species, cephalopds: 5 species, other ground fish: 20 species, shrimp: 3 species, crustaceans: 5 species, and finally sardine and other pelagics: 4 species.
About 78 percent of the landings consist of five pelagic species and nearly 70 percent are made up of one species, the sardine, which constitutes the mainstay of fish industry in Morocco. Some 70 percent are used as raw materials processed products. In terms of value, cephalopod fishery produced most income because of the high value of this product when exported.
Four main fishing areas can be distinguished: the Mediterranean area, the North Atlantic area, the Centre South Atlantic area and the South Atlantic area. Each harvest area exhibits different characteristics of production and distribution.
The fleet can be divided into three categories: the coastal fleet, the small-scale fleet and the high seas fleet.
1) The coastal Fleet consists of about 2 500 vessels of which 2 327 were operational. The purseiners dominate in landings, because of the importance of the canning industry and the abundance of the sardine resource in the national waters. The average age, gross tonnage and power are respectively of 20 years, 54 GRT and 260 CV. The structure of the fleet with regard to age and GRT shows that the vessels built in the seventies are the largest and the most equipped, owing to the benefit of the investment incentives offered by the government, which may reach 35 percent of the purchasing price of the vessel.
In terms of value, however, the trawlers and the long-liners contribute more substantially as they produce more high value species. Their number increased during the last decade at least by 30 percent and their GRT by 40 percent.
2) Data on small-scale fisheries...