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Spatial data integration for marine fisheries management of Oman

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posted on 15.12.2014, 10:38 by Younis. Alakhzami
The work described in this research uses the commercial data of catch to illustrate the facilities that GIS may offer to fisheries management. Three different types of fisheries data (different in terms of original format, method of collection and geographical footprints) for Oman are presented and discussed. Data collection, manipulation, filtering and preparation for input to a relational database are discussed. The spatial integration of the data is problematic but essential. Two methods of data integration, the point and the area are used to solve this problem. Point and area data are used to display data at different levels of management and decision making. Alternative visualisations from the GIS are used including total catch distribution, catch per unit effort per unit area, fishing density, and spatio-temporal analysis. The analytical ability of the GIS is used to display the following results: preferred areas of catch, expected catch per area, areas of fish high quality habitat, unexploited areas, and areas suspected of overfishing. Hydro-biological data (marine-related data) such as sea surface temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and zooplankton biomass for the year 1995 with relation to catch are presented and discussed too. The concentration of catch is found to be more within the area of the continental shelf that in the deep waters, being areas of large fish productivity as well as high zooplankton biomass. Pelagic fish occur in greater density in the northern part of the Omani waters (Gulf of Oman), and in contrast, demersal fish aggregated more at the southern part of the country (Arabian Sea). Different areas are found to have a consistently high catch throughout the years, and the catch, in general, shows no evidence of overfishing. Some areas of Omani water have not been fully utilised although this study shows them high potential catch areas.


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University of Leicester

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