Projections of the impacts of gear-modification on the recovery of fish catches and ecosystem function in an impoverished fishery

Condy, Michelle , Cinner, Joshua E., McClanahan, Tim R., and Bellwood, David R. (2015) Projections of the impacts of gear-modification on the recovery of fish catches and ecosystem function in an impoverished fishery. Aquatic Conservation: marine and freshwater ecosystems , 25 (3). pp. 396-410.

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Abstract

1. The regulation of fishing gear is a widely accepted fisheries management solution that requires further research to improve the chances of achieving sustainable yields, maintaining ecological integrity, and assisting fishers to escape from poverty. Fishing traps are a good candidate for modification because they are used widely, represent one of the most profitable gears, and often catch key species known to promote ecological resilience. 2. The ecological and economic implications of modifying fishing traps with escape slots were examined in a heavily fished and poor artisanal Kenyan fishery. Catches of fish from traps with four escape slot sizes (2, 4, 6, and 8 cm,) were examined for differences in the catch rates and composition and to calibrate a simulation model. The simulation model was used to predict how the ecological and economic outcomes will change as the standing stock responds to the new size selectivity of the fishing traps. 3. The results suggest a fishery's wide implementation of the 2 cm escape slots could provide an immediate benefit to the ecosystem by reducing the catch of juvenile fishes and algal browsers, which could help avoid or reverse coral–macroalgal phase shifts that can reduce reef biodiversity. However, the model predicts a decline in per trap profits in the first year that the 2 cm escape slot is implemented. This period would be followed by profitability increasing by a factor of 1.6 and 2.2 in the second year for the 2 cm and 4 cm escape slots respectively. 4. Sequential implementation of 2 cm slots followed by 4 cm slots in the fourth year reduces the total economic cost of implementing the 4 cm slots by 34%. Consequently, sequential implementation of these traps is suggested as a potential way to simultaneously conserve key ecosystem functions and reduce poverty.

Item ID: 38227
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1099-0755
Keywords: Africa; artisanal fisheries; coral reef; ecosystem-based management; fish traps
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2015 03:32
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
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