Thursday, February 02, 2012

Gaps in traps make for sustainable fisheries

According to research in Kenya, fitting traditional fish traps with 'escape gaps' dramatically reduces the catch of non-target fish while maintaining fishers' incomes. Local fishermen built traditional basket traps and then added vertical rectangular gaps, 2–4 centimetres by 30 centimetres, to their sides. These gaps allow juvenile and narrow-bodied species to escape but retain larger target
species. Reducing wasteful 'bycatch' — young or small fish that are not always sold — is a key aspect of increasing the sustainability of fisheries and this low-cost, low-tech innovation can contribute to poverty reduction and increase the biodiversity of fishery ecosystems.

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