Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) Project LMR/CF/03/07

Determination of optimal harvesting strategies for the hake trawl and longline fisheries in Namibia and South Africa

Funding Agency:

United Nations Office of Operations

Contractor (Principal Investigator):

Fisheries Economics Research Unit, Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, (Ussif Rashid Sumaila)

Partner Institutions:

1. Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, University of Namibia (UNAM), Windhoek (Kevin Stephanus)
2. Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), School of Government, University of Western Cape (Moenieba Isaacs)
3. Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), Lowestoft Laboratory (Trevor Hutton)


Project period:

2 years (November 1, 2003 to October 31, 2005)

Project objectives

The specific objective of project LMR/CF/03/07 is to determine the optimal harvesting ratio between trawled and longlined hake in order to extract maximum socio-economic value from these resources, and at the same time ensure long-term sustainability of hake stocks in the BCLME.


Hake resources are major commercial fish species that straddle geopolitical boundaries of mainly Namibia and South Africa, and to a lesser extent Angola. They are harvested largely through the use of bottom trawlers, and to a lesser degree longliners. A number of features of these two vessel groups are important to note as they will have strong implications for the study. These are (i) longliners tend to catch large adult female hakes as opposed to trawlers, which take medium to small sizes of hake; (ii) longliners are able to fish in untrawlable areas; (iii) longliners are labour-intensive at sea and produce a higher-value product, while the trawl industry is more labour-intensive on land, and (iv) the trawl fleet in Namibia, unlike that in South Africa, is not homogenous – it is usually split into freezer and wetfish trawers. These features will be taken into account in determining the optimal sustainable harvesting ratios for hake stocks in the BCLME.


The method will consist of (i) data and database work, (ii) biological/stock assessment modelling, (iii) social analysis and socioeconomic modelling, and (iv) economic assessment and bioeconomic modelling. All of these will be tied together in a general interdisciplinary framework that brings together ecological, economic and social perspectives, data and modelling techniques to address the objectives of the call for proposal.