Towards sustainable fisheries management in emerging markets: An overview of properties, gaps and opportunities in Egypt
The knowledge of fisheries features in emerging markets is an essential step to identify gaps in the management and opportunities for socio-economic development. Mediterranean coastal area of Egypt is subjected to a high level of anthropogenic pressure due to fishing activities and bottom trawling is considered as the most important as well as troubling fisheries, for the impact exerted on the bottom communities. In this context, the knowledge of fleet composition, technical properties of fishing gears and vessels, catch composition and distribution of vessels along the coast are considered as key factors for fisheries management and for the introduction-development of new technology and market opportunities. In this study, an overview of the fishing activities in Egypt, with a focus on the bottom trawling was carried out to provide fisheries managers with information suitable for the development of reliable technical measures. A SWOT analysis based on technical information gathered with direct measurement, interviews with net makers-fishermen and official data collected from the Egyptian General Authority for Fish Resources Development, enabled to explore current constraints and future possibilities for the fishing sector in Egypt. Technical information also allowed to develop a model which enabled to estimate the area swept by bottom trawling. The results obtained from the model show that potentially an area of more than 40 km2/h can be impacted by the Egyptian fleet in the Mediterranean. This model can be considered as a cheap tool to be used by fisheries managers for a rough estimation of bottom trawl impact and for a reasonable marine spatial planning.