Remote sensing studies at the Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research (RIVO) aim to stimulate the use of satellite images on board of Dutch freezer-trawlers in the Mauritanian Exclusive Economic Zone (MEEZ). During four research missions (5-12 July 2002, 23-30 August 2002, 13-20 October 2002, and 14-23 November 2002) NOAA-AVHRR images of sea surface temperatures (SST) and SeaWifs plankton images were used to locate the fronts at which sardinella, the target species of the Dutch fleet at West Africa, tend to concentrate. These ‘RIVO-images’ are transmitted biweekly with specified annotation to enable easy interpretation. Remote sensing helps locate target species and reduces by-catches associated with ‘random’ trawling. Satellite-derived time series are furthermore applied to analyse apparent spatial shifts of the stock in recent years. Comparison of catch data (size, location) with associated satellite-derived oceanography yields insight into the behaviour and migration patterns of sardinella.
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