Authors:H. Essekhyr, K. Khalil, Z. Damsiri, G. Derhy, and K. Elkalay
The Moroccan Atlantic coast is considered as one of the richest fishing areas in the world, having rich biodiversity, and supporting the fisheries sector. However, studies have shown that the ecosystem presently suffers from overexploitation of fishery resources and environmental degradation. To quantify these impacts, the characterization of the ecosystem is essential. In this work, an Ecopath model (EwE), which assumes steady-state and mass-balanced conditions for the Moroccan Atlantic coast ecosystem, was developed and balanced. Network analysis included in the Ecopath software package was used to estimate trophic interactions and the maturity of the ecosystem. The model consisted of 29 functional groups. The results showed a Total System Throughput (TST) which is comprised mainly of flows into detritus, followed by export, consumption, and respiration. Systemic indicators, suggest that the Moroccan Atlantic coast is an immature and developing ecosystem. Further observations on the functioning and dynamics of the ecosystem are discussed.