Effects of increased mesh size on catch and fishing power of coral reef fish traps

  • Published source details Robichaud D., Hunte W. & Oxenford H.A. (1999) Effects of increased mesh size on catch and fishing power of coral reef fish traps. Fisheries Research, 39, 275-294.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use a larger mesh size

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Use a larger mesh size

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1986-1996 of three coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea, Barbados (Robichaud et al. 1999) found that coral reef fish traps with larger mesh size reduced the catches of smaller and immature fish, compared to conventional traps of smaller mesh size. Across trials, average fish size was greater in large mesh traps of 5.5 cm maximum aperture than in conventional commercial traps of smaller 4.1 cm maximum aperture (large: 17 cm, conventional: 15–16 cm). The percentage of immature fish was also lower in the larger mesh traps (large: 4–16, conventional: 8–20%). However, catch rates of larger fish (body depth >5.5 cm) were also lower in the large mesh traps (14–19 fish/trap) than conventional traps (30 fish/trap). Data were collected during two separate experiments in May 1986, 1990, 1991 and 1996, and February–June 1996. Two mesh sizes of Antillean arrowhead traps were tested: large mesh traps (mesh of maximum aperture 5.5 cm) and traps with the mesh size used in the Barbados commercial fishery (4.1 cm maximum aperture). In the experiment, traps were placed in pairs and fished for 1–4 days (46 traps/mesh size at three locations). In the second, 12 traps (three/mesh size) were randomly placed and fished for five days.

    (Summarised by: Khatija Alliji)

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