The present study proposes the application of various tools, including multivariate analysis, community structure indices path analysis and EcopATH modelling in order to understand the dynamics involved and possible factors affecting the Cape Verde coastal ecosystem. lle overall objective is to contribute to the sustainable management of fisheries resources and maintaining biodiversity, vital for food security and export revenue in Cage Verde. Although 21 intemational. surveys have been carried out in Cape Verde during the period from 1952 to 1997, this information is far from having been used to its full potential. 11iis information is suitable for a study that considers ecosystem dynamics, including characteristics such as trophic interactions, community metrics such as size and diversity spectra, production and fishing pressure. Since 1983, there appears to be a trend for decreasing catches and CPUE, which is in contradiction with the current estimated low level of exploitation (10% - 501/o).
Some relevant questions are; Has there been a shift in abundance of different species as a re~ffit of trophic interactions and fishing impact? Have there been events of an oceanographic nature that have affected the productivity of the coastal area and the availability of resources such as tuna? What is the current state of coastal resources and how does this agect the availability of live bait for the tuna fisheries? The study will take into account spatial effects by dividing the coastal area into sub-area , taking into account species composition, size composition, abiotic factors, and sea-bottom topography. lle study will compare ecosystem characteristics over a period of 40 years, from 1957 to 1997, concentrating on the surveys by RIV Baldaque da Silva (1957,1958. 1959). RIV Fridtiof Nansen (198 lk R/V Feneur (1 984~ 1985, 1988) and RIV Capricornio (1997).