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West Indian Ocean variability and East African fish catch
Jury, M.; McClanahan, T. R.; Maina, J. (2010). West Indian Ocean variability and East African fish catch. Mar. Environ. Res. 70(2): 162-170. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2010.04.006
In: Marine Environmental Research. Applied Science Publishers: Barking. ISSN 0141-1136; e-ISSN 1879-0291, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Fish catch variability, physical oceanography, East Africa

Auteurs  Top 
  • Jury, M.
  • McClanahan, T. R.
  • Maina, J.

Abstract
    We describe marine climate variability off the east coast of Africa in the context of fish catch statistics for Tanzania and Kenya. The time series exhibits quasi-decadal cycles over the period 1964-2007. Fish catch is up when sea surface temperature (SST) and atmospheric humidity are below normal in the tropical West Indian Ocean. This pattern relates to an ocean Rossby wave in one phase of its east west oscillation. Coastal-scale analyses indicate that northward currents and uplift on the shelf edge enhance productivity of East African shelf waters. Some of the changes are regulated by the south equatorial current that swings northward from Madagascar. The weather is drier and a salty layer develops in high catch years. While the large-scale West Indian Ocean has some impact on East African fish catch, coastal dynamics play a more significant role. Climatic changes are reviewed using 200 years of past and projected data. The observed warming trend continues to increase such that predicted SST may reach 30 degrees C by 2100 while SW monsoon winds gradually increase. according to a coupled general circulation model simulation with a gradual doubling of CO(2).

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