Assessing Gear Modifications Needed to Optimize Yields in a Heavily Exploited, Multi-Species, Seagrass and Coral Reef Fishery

This article addresses the need for increased gear-based management in coral reef and seagrass fisheries, as it has the potential to be adaptive, address multiple objectives, and have many socio-economic applications. Ten years of species-specific fish data from Kenya was used to evaluate fishery statuses of specific fish species, compare gear use and regulations and determine potential future gear restrictions.

The authors found that relatively few species contribute the majority of fisheries yield in this area, most being fully exploited, and that mesh sizes below legal limits and prohibited gears were being used. Increased enforcement of gears and gear management could be targeted to alleviate pressure on the life history stages most susceptible to overfishing. This article provides management recommendations for potential further restrictions on net mesh sizes and prohibited gears in order to help increase fisheries yields and protect slow life history traits in Kenyan fisheries.

Author: Hicks, C.C. and T.R. McClanahan
Year: 2012
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PLoS ONE 7(5): e3602. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036022

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