Journal of Marine Biology & OceanographyISSN: 2324-8661

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The applicability of the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme-Large Marine Ecosystem (TWAP-LME) indicators to the Nigeria-Sao Tome & Principe Joint Development Zone (JDZ): An area of sub-LME scale

Aliyu Danagalan

University of Portsmouth, UK

: J Mar Biol Oceanogr


I n 1999, the officials of the Nigerian and Sao Tome & Principe’s governments embarked upon delineating their maritime boundary. They discovered that the two nations’ maritime boundary overlapped as a result of establishing their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); and this area of overlap was found to have enormous hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon resources. Several meetings and negotiations ensured and the area of overlap designated a joint development zone (JDZ). The aim of the research is to evaluate the viability and effectiveness of implementing the recently published Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme-Large Marine Ecosystem TWAP LME indicators to the Nigeria-Sao Tome & Principe Joint Development Zone (JDZ)-an area of sub-LME scale- given the characteristics of the JDZ and particularly the extent of Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing around the area. An interview and questionnaire survey was conducted on selected stakeholders and findings revealed a clear lack of information exchange among critical stakeholders, inadequate attention to living resource exploitation in a joint development designated to cover both living and non-living resources, lack of a coherent mechanism to tackle issues of IUU fishing practices among others and most importantly lack of /ignorance on the use and employment of indicators for marine ecosystem assessment. Results from the survey was further compared and evaluated against international best practices where recommendations emerged. This provided insights and lessons upon further evaluations from examples of successful application of use and deployment of indicators for marine resource assessment especially in joint development context for the JDZ and elsewhere.


Aliyu Danagalan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi in Nigeria and a Masters’ degree in Coastal and Marine Resource Management from the University of Portsmouth. He has been working with the Nigeria’s National Boundary Commission since 2003 and held various positions cutting across administration, research & policy analysis, interstate boundaries and maritime boundaries & geo-informatics departments. His current investigation is on the applicability of applying indicators to examine marine fishery sustainability.

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