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Lakhdar Idrissi et al. The Moroccan coastal marine area has several zones that are targets for exploitation but must simultaneously be protected. Lagoons are considered to be among the most productive natural systems in the world, but they are also vulnerable systems due to natural and human constraints. Lagoons can also be a target of economic expansion. This is why an understanding about the state of these ecosystems is important in order to proceed with rational use of the resource. The Khnifiss lagoon, situated on the South Atlantic coast of Morocco, is a potential site for aquaculture and tourism if planned with an ecological awareness.

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Lakhdar Idrissi et al. The Moroccan coastal marine area has several zones that are targets for exploitation but must simultaneously be protected. Lagoons are considered to be among the most productive natural systems in the world, but they are also vulnerable systems due to natural and human constraints.

Lagoons can also be a target of economic expansion. This is why an understanding about the state of these ecosystems is important in order to proceed with rational use of the resource. The Khnifiss lagoon, situated on the South Atlantic coast of Morocco, is a potential site for aquaculture and tourism if planned with an ecological awareness.

The large surface area and high biological production for the avifauna qualify it to be among the four protected sites by the RAMSAR convention for humid zone conservation lagoons of Khnifiss and Moulay Bousselham, lakes of Sidi Boughaba and Afennourir. The objective of this work was to complete previous studies and to estimate the nutritive richness of the Khnifiss lagoon.

To understand the spatio-temporal variability in the water currents, and the physico-chemical and biological and characteristics of this lagoon, two surveys were organized in September and February It opens up into the Atlantic ocean by a narrow inlet called ''Foum Agouitir'', about m wide. The lagoon continues upstream beyond a salt marsh, called "Sebkha Tazra". Physical, chemical and biological variables were monitored: temperature and salinity; dissolved oxygen, nitrates and phosphates; chlorophyll a.

The current direction and intensity and the sediment were also studied. Samples were collected four times from the surface and bottom waters during spring tide ST , neap tide NT , low tide LT and high tide HT during two seasons September and February Temperature and salinity were measured with a multi-sensor probe.

Thirty 30 sediment samples were also collected. Currents were measured at two fixed points by two current-meters. Maximum depths varied from 2. The concentrations of the different hydrological parameters were controlled by the plug effect of the oceanic environment. The most important current in the lagoon was recorded in this zone in the spring tide ST: cm. The sediment was coarse and important water - sediment exchange was caused by the strong current recorded in this zone.

Zone II middle of the lagoon was a transition zone with an intermediate oceanic influence. It was situated between the H3 and H5 stations. The size of the inlet and the important exchanges governed by currents caused by strong tides resulted in concentrations of the various parameters being similar to those in Zone I.

Depths varied from 2. Waters were more saline during the LT and NT periods practical salinity unit, or psu. The current decreased relative to that is zone I 56 cm. In this zone the current moved preferentially towards the right strand at high tide and toward the left strand at low tide.

Zone III upstream in the lagoon covered a different biotope compared to the first two zones. The waters were less deep 2. This zone was characterized by a very low oceanic influence. On the basis of the hydrological zonation, the conjunction of the climate descriptors moderate wind, rare precipitation, absence of storms, moderate air temperature of the lagoon and the strong hydrodynamic influence in the lagoon suggest that the Knifiss lagoon is a relatively unconfined ecosystem.

The hydrodynamics of this lagoon permit a fast water renewal rate and insure a good environmental quality. In addition, studies carried out on the healthiness of this lagoon demonstrated not only a healthy environment, but also healthy shellfish.

This diagnosis seemed to be related to the geographical location and important rates of water exchange. However, the absence of continental freshwater sources leads to an important increase in salinity and temperature at the level of the upstream zone zone III.

Zone III therefore cannot be considered for shellfish breeding. On the basis of the biological zones: With respect to the bathymetry of the lagoon depths varied from 2. Therefore, it is sufficient to search for a less turbulent zone, which offers sufficient planktonic food for the shellfish growth.

In the Khnifiss lagoon, the taxonomy of the phytoplankton has not been yet studied. RHARBI found that picophytoplankton were the principal breeding food source of oysters and clams in Oualidia lagoon.

The source of shellfish for breeding is located in the neighbouring upwelling marine waters. Development projects planned for the lagoon must include an awareness programme for fishermen about the role that moderate and responsible shellfish breeding programs can play in the preservation and reconstitution of the marine resource as well as in the improvement of their incomes. D Documents Documents Collections Sujets. Fiche du document Auteurs J. Lakhdar Idrissi A. Orbi F. Zidane K. Hilmi F.

Massik A. Date

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