Marine conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society working in Kenya have found that better fisheries management that includes restricting fishing gear is producing more predatory and longer-lived species and is improving fishing even in adjacent areas where no management is taking place.
During a 10-year study, conservationists recording fish catches found that the implementation of fishing regulationsand particularly the banning of small-mesh seine nets that indiscriminately capture all fishallowed practically all fish species to recover, especially those species that took longer to reproduce. Fish communities in regulated sites also had a greater diversity of predatory fish species and those with longer life spans. Even in unregulated areas there were small improvements to the fish community.
The study appears in the February print version of Fisheries Management and Ecology. The authors of the study include Dr. Tim McClanahan of the Wildlife Conservation Society and Christina Hicks of James Cook University in Australia.
The study examined the effects of increasing fisheries management and fishing gear restrictions in 11 coral reef sites along the 75-kilometer stretch of Kenyan coast around the city of Mombasa for a 10-year period.
The wholesale removal of fine-mesh seine nets was implemented in six sites to the south of Mombasa, all of which were more than 30 kilometers away from areas closed to fishing. Kenyatta Beacha landing site and popular tourist destination near Mombasa Marine National Parkserved as the study's most intensively regulated site. The northernmost sites, where fishermen continued to use seine nets in spite of restrictions, were within five kilometers of the fisheries closure zones. In addition to seine nets, other types of gear examined in the study were traps, lines, regular nets, and spears.
"The study shows that regulating coastal fisheries allows fish populations
|Contact: John Delaney|
Wildlife Conservation Society