Distribution and diversity of fish species along the Sudanese Red Sea coast based on three combined trap and gillnet surveys
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonFisheries Research. 2021, 242:106032 1-13. 10.1016/j.fishres.2021.106032
On the western shore of the semi-enclosed coral-reef rich Red Sea, the 850 km coastline of the Red Sea State of the Republic of Sudan provides livelihoods to artisanal fishers, but the present state of the living natural resources and the impact of fisheries are poorly known. To provide a baseline on the biodiversity and fish abundance three fisheries research surveys spanning the entire Sudanese coast were carried out in 2012−13 designed around the seven Sudanese fisheries management areas. Baited traps and gillnets were employed to sample the various reef habitats and fish assemblages from inshore to deeper outer reef archipelagos. The highest species richness, functional diversity, as well and the highest catch rates with both traps and gillnets were observed in the protected Dungonab Bay area in the north, while the management area closest to the main population center along the coast – Port Sudan – showed the lowest levels of biodiversity and catch rates. The Dungonab bay area and adjacent northern areas therefore seem more pristine than areas closer to the main human population center. Thus the present study has provides a necessary knowledge baseline and highlights the opportunity for establishing effective ecosystem-based management before the resources and habitats are irreversibly impacted.