Fisheries Thematic Mapping: A Prerequisite for Intelligent Management and Development of Fisheries

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"The relevance of Fisheries Thematic Mapping in the general fisheries context is discussed and the current importance of resource mapping, particularly in the new Exclusived Economie Zones of developing countries, is indicated. An historical perspective on development of fisheries science in long established fishing areas supports recognition of resource mapping as an important preliminary stage to fish stock assessment, particularly for coastal resources. Some methods of assessment that stem directly from such mapping exercises are referred to, as are the dangers of uncritical use of population models which assume that 'dynamic pool' assumptions apply do geographically dispersed and contagious populations. A review of spatial considerations that affect various types of fisheries analysis is given. Some criteria, and a rough classification of various types of applications of mapping in fisheries are proposed, which include their use in fisheries prospection, in support of research vesse1 surveys, statistical and information gathering systems; the preparation of fisheries resource management plans and the leasing of marine culture purposes; coastal planning and environmental impact studies; and in support of negotiations on maritime boundaries and fisheries access agreements. The lime scales for updating fisheries maps vary between different applications. In some cases the main consideration should be ease of updating rather than great accuracy - which is constrained by the limited posilion - finding capabilities of small fishing vessels. The need for promoting routine application of new technology such as microcomputers and remote sensing in mapping, as well as suitable software for rapid compilation and updating of various thematic maps, is stressed."



development, mapping, resource management, fisheries