Kenya’s coastal gillnet fishery: tradeoffs in mesh-size regulations:
Our new study led by Kennedy Osuka and published in African Journal of Marine Science has found catches in small mesh sizes comprise high proportions of juveniles
while large mesh sizes capture species ranked as Near Threatened and Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. On a more positive note, medium mesh sizes are associated with low trade-offs between ecological impact and fishery returns and are recommended for artisanal fisheries.
Gillnets are widely used gears among Kenya’s coastal artisanal fishers. However, their mesh sizes are inadequately monitored or regulated. Policy recommendations to manage the gear are therefore needed.
What we did
We undertook deployment and catch surveys to collect effort and catch data from 147 gillnet fishing trips. The impacts of gillnets of seven stretched-mesh sizes were then evaluated through comparative analysis of species-related metrics and catch per unit effort (CPUE).
What we found
For the first time we assessed impacts of different gillnet mesh sizes used in Kenyan coastal waters.
Pie charts showing the composition of the fish catches, as represented by their IUCN Red List categories, in gillnets of different mesh sizes: (a) 1.3 cm; (b) 5.1 cm; (c) 7.6 cm; (d) 10.2 cm; (e) 15.2 cm; (f) 20.3 cm; (g) 25.4 cm. Percentages are labelled only for categories considered threatened. IUCN Red List categories: EN = Endangered; VU = Vulnerable; NT = Near Threatened; LC = Least Concern; DD = Data Deficient; NE = Not Evaluated
The article can be accessed through the journal page here.
Full citation: Osuka, K., Kawaka, J.A. and Samoilys, M.A., 2021. Evaluating Kenya’s coastal gillnet fishery: trade-offs in recommended mesh-size regulations. African Journal of Marine Science, 43:15-29.