Increase the mesh size of pots and traps

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study examined the effects of increasing the mesh size of pots and traps on subtidal benthic invertebrates. The study took place in the Corindi River system (Australia).




  • Unwanted catch abundance (1 study): One replicated, controlled study in the Corindi River system found that traps designed with larger mesh appeared to reduce the proportion of unwanted undersized mud crabs caught, compared to conventional traps of smaller mesh.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, controlled study (date unspecified but appears to be 2012) in a muddy and sandy area in the Corindi River system, eastern Australia (Broadhurst et al. 2014) found that traps used to catch giant mud crabs Scylla serrata appeared to catch fewer unwanted undersized mud crabs when designed with larger mesh size, compared to conventional traps. The proportion of undersized crabs caught in traps with 101 mm mesh appeared lower (22%) compared to conventional traps with 51 mm mesh (29%; results not tested for statistical significance). In addition, the number of wounded mud crabs (undersized and commercial size) was statistically lower in traps with larger mesh size (0.03 crabs/trap) compared to conventional traps (0.13 crabs/trap). Conventional traps are designed with 51 mm mesh. Conventional traps were modified by increasing the mesh size to 101 mm. Seven modified traps and seven conventional traps were tested during 20 deployments. All traps were baited with sea mullet Mugil cephalus. Traps were recovered after 24 hours, and all catch identified, counted, and any wounds assessed.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Lemasson, A.J., Pettit, L.R., Smith, R.K. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation. Pages 635-732 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation - Published 2020

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