[Coral-List] artisanal fishing effort in East Africa, reply to Josh Cinner

Elizabeth Tyler ehtyler at googlemail.com
Wed Nov 14 08:00:38 EST 2007

Dear Josh,
Many thanks for your comments on 2nd Nov on artisanal fisheries in E.
I agree that fishing depth will vary around the region based on many
factors, and that in Kenya, geography is probably the most determining
factor, as in other countries with shallow lagoons and fringing reefs ( e.g.
south Viti Levu, Fiji, as pointed out by Gwilym Rowlands).

Although I agree that fishermen are targeting a range of depths in Tanzania,
I would question whether they are actually *targeting* deeper areas. In
Zanzibar, where I worked, some of the commonly used gears (basket traps,
spear-guns and beach seines) often require fishermen getting in the water to
use/deploy them (without SCUBA), which therefore limits fishing depth.

It is also likely to be easier in general to deploy gears, target specific
habitat types and maneouvre boats in shallow water (fishermen often use
poles to get their sail boats to specific locations).

My belief is that this produces a situation whereby fishing is concentrated
at shallow depths (despite occurring at a range of depths), resulting from a
combination of preference (by reducing effort) and limitation ( e.g. fishing
method, breath-hold ability).

I would be interested to see any reports you can send regarding gear use in
Tanzania and your thoughts on the depths to which these gears are generally

Lizzie Tyler

Dr. Elizabeth Tyler
Postdoctoral Researcher
Evolutionary Ecology Group
Zoology Department, University of Cambridge
Downing St. Cambridge CB2 3EJ UK
Tel +44 1223 767129

On Nov 2, 2007 7:52 AM, Joshua Cinner <joshua.cinner at jcu.edu.au > wrote:

> Dear Elizabeth,
> I think you'll find that the concentration of fishing effort on the
> shallow
> reef flat varies considerably from place to place based on factors such as
> geography, type of gear used, and access to vessels rather than some type
> of
> general preference for fishing in shallow areas.  We have just finished a
> socioeconomic study that covered about 35 coastal communities in Kenya,
> Tanzania, and Madagascar (and 14 more in Mauritius and Seychelles).  In
> most
> of the coastal communities we studied in Kenya, your comments are largely
> on
> the mark (fishing on reef flats at 4-6m).  This was not a preference for
> fishing there, but a limitation imposed by a combination of crappy gear,
> lack of access to vessels, and geography (a coastline with a narrow
> fringing
> reef and not much else beyond it).  However in Tanzania and Madagascar the
> situation was different- they were definitely targeting deeper areas. For
> example, in Tanzania, many of the fishers are highly mobile, have
> reasonable
> gear, and are fishing at a range of depths (I think in Tanga they hold the
> record for the most Coelacanths caught, which certainly suggests they are
> fishing deeper than 4m). Based on my experience in the region, I don't
> believe there is a preference for fishing shallow areas, but simply some
> fishers have no other option.
> There are numerous scientists in the region working on coral reef
> fisheries,
> but as a first cut, you might do well gleaning through some of Narriman
> Jiddawi's work, CORDIO's reports and Tim McClanahan's work.  There is also
> some very interesting work being done in other regions on spatial
> behaviour
> of fishers. We have a few basic reports currently out from our project
> (see
> below), but since the field work was just recently completed, not much has
> made it through peer review yet.
> Cinner, J. (2007) The role of taboos in conserving coastal resources in
> Madagascar. Traditional Marine Resource Management and Knowledge
> Information
> Bulletin: in press
> Cinner, J., T. R. McClanahan, C. Abunge, and A. Wamukota (2007). Human
> dimensions of conserving Kenya's coral reefs. in J. Hoorweg and N. A.
> Muthiga, editors. Coastal Ecology. African Studies Centre, Leiden,
> Netherlands. in press
> Cinner J. and M. Fuentes. Human Dimensions of Madagascar's Marine
> Protected
> Areas. In  Obura D, Tamelander J, and Linden O.  "Ten years after
> bleaching
> - consequences and issues facing countries in the Indian Ocean.
> CORDIO/Sida-SAREC. Mombasa. In press
> Cinner J. M. Fuentes and S. Harding 2006. A Baseline socioeconomic
> assessment of marine protected areas in Madagascar. A report prepared for
> the Wildlife Conservation Society, Madagascar.
> Cinner, J. and T. McClanahan 2005. A socioeconomic assessment of fishing
> communities along the north coast of Kenya. WCS working paper
> None of these specifically mention depth, but some break down the fishing
> by
> gear type- which will give you some indication of the depth they are
> fishing
> at.
> Respectfully,
> Josh
> "I know that the human being and fish can coexist peacefully"
> George W. Bush
> Joshua E. Cinner, PhD
> Postdoctoral Fellow (APD)
> ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
> James Cook University
> Townsville, QLD 4811
> Australia
> ph: +61 7 4781 6751
> fax: +61 7 4781 6722
> joshua.cinner at jcu.edu.au
> http://www.coralcoe.org.au/research/joshcinner.html
> Visit the New ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at
> http://www.coralcoe.org.au/
> Download >240 pdfs of our latest publications
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