The trawlfauna of the Mauritanian shelf (Northwest Africa): density, species composition, and biomass

  • G. C. A. Duineveld
  • M. S. S. Lavaleye
  • G. J. van Noort
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology 86 book series (DIHY, volume 86)


In May 1988, epifaunal trawlsamples were collected at 17 stations on the Mauritanian shelf off the Banc d’Arguin. The species composition and biomass of the invertebrates and demersal fish were analysed. On the basis of species abundances, three station groups could be distinguished each corresponding to a subregion of the shelf: an inner shelf, a midshelf and an outer shelf station group. The average depth increased from 20 m for the inner to more than 100 m for the outer shelf stations. The biomass of mobile epifauna and fish was lowest on the inner shelf stations where the trawlfauna was dominated by large sessile filterfeeders. The trawlfaunas of the mid- and outer shelf were more similar in species composition. Demersal fish and crustaceans appeared to be more abundant on the outer shelf. The increase in density and biomass from inner to outer shelf is discussed in relation to the distribution of the infauna and the hydrographical conditions on the Mauritanian shelf. Being a demersal fishing area, density and biomass of the epifauna on the shelf are compared with that of the demersal fishing grounds in the southern North Sea. The result of this comparison shows that, except for echinoderms, all taxa attain higher densities and biomasses at the Mauritanian shelf.

Key words

trawlfauna Mauritanian shelf 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. A. Duineveld
    • 1
  • M. S. S. Lavaleye
    • 1
  • G. J. van Noort
    • 1
  1. 1.Netherlands Institute for Sea ResearchDen BurgThe Netherlands

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