[Coral-List] biodegradable fishing gear

Bill Allison allison.billiam at gmail.com
Tue Feb 26 08:22:35 EST 2013

Hi Verena,
Perhaps some behavioural changes are in order too, although I suspect that
has been addressed if it is under your control. At some resorts after the
guests have taken their pick of the catch at the conclusion of fishing, the
remaining fish are discarded. This often happens without management or the
biologist's knowledge. Fish such a morays are generally "liberated" by
cutting the line.

Encouraging catch and release fishing with appropriate hooks too, although
survival rates may be low - the duration of the interval between hooking
and release is a critical variable (several refs with abstracts below).

Are resorts involved in a program monitoring the sizes of fish captured as
an indicator of stock status?


Arlinghaus, R., S. J. Cooke, et al. (2007). "Understanding the Complexity
of Catch-and-Release in Recreational Fishing: An Integrative Synthesis of
Global Knowledge from Historical, Ethical, Social, and Biological
Perspectives." Reviews in Fisheries Science 15(1-2): 75-167.
    Most research on catch-and-release (C&R) in recreational fishing has
been conducted from a disciplinary angle focusing on the biological
sciences and the study of hooking mortality after release. This hampers
understanding of the complex and multifaceted nature of C&R. In the present
synopsis, we develop an integrative perspective on C&R by drawing on
historical, philosophical, socio-psychological, biological, and managerial
insights and perspectives. Such a perspective is helpful for a variety of
reasons, such as 1) improving the science supporting successful fisheries
management and conservation, 2) facilitating dialogue between managers,
anglers, and other stakeholders, 3) minimizing conflict potentials, and 4)
paving the path toward sustainable recreational fisheries management. The
present work highlights the array of cultural, institutional,
psychological, and biological factors and dimensions involved in C&R.
Progress toward successful treatment of C&R might be enhanced by
acknowledging the complexity inherent in C&R recreational fishing.

Broadhurst, M. K., C. A. Gray, et al. (2005). "Mortality of key fish
species released by recreational anglers in an Australian estuary." JEMBE
321(2): 171-179.
    Abstract: A field experiment was done to quantify the mortality of fish
released during a recreational angling tournament in Botany Bay, Australia.
Participating boat-based anglers were divided into two groups, each
representing different typical catch-and-release events. The first group
(termed the live weigh-in group) retained the largest two individuals of 4
species (dusky flathead, Platycephalus fuscus, yellowfin bream,
Acanthopagrus australis, sand whiting, Sillago ciliata, and trevally,
Pseudocaranx dentex) in onboard holding tanks and then presented these to
researchers at designated weigh-in times and stations. Gear, operational
and handling data were collected before 125 fish were tagged using plastic
t-bar tags, returned to the anglers and then released into two sea cages.
The second group (termed the immediate-release group) immediately released
224 fish into two sea cages, after they were tagged and relevant data
recorded by onboard observers. This group represented those fish routinely
discarded (i) as part of catch-and-immediate-release tournaments and/or
(ii) due to minimum legal sizes and/ or personal quotas. Appropriate
species and numbers of control fish were seined and placed into two sea
cages. All fish were monitored for mortalities over 10 days. Dusky
flathead, yellowfin bream, trevally and snapper, Pagrus auratus accounted
for more than 85% of the total catch. Their adjusted mortalities ranged
between 0% and 36.6%. Irrespective of the treatment, most yellowfin bream
and snapper deaths occurred within 3 h of being hooked and released into
the cages, while trevally and dusky flathead showed a delayed mortality
over 4 days. Owing to confounding effects due to their confinement, dusky
flathead were excluded from further analyses. Anatomical hook location and
the time between capture and release were significant predictors of
mortality for yellowfin bream and trevally, respectively (p< 0.01), but
none of the various gear, operational or handling factors examined were
significant for snapper (p > 0.05). The results are discussed in terms of
species-specific variabilities in mortalities, their causal effects and
better management of catch-and-release events.

Matus, D.J. (~2013). "Journey to Ichthlan: Leveling the Sport-fishing
Playing Field by Enhancing the Spiritual Rapport Between Fisher and Fish."
Spiritual Sports Eco-Tourism (pre-publication).
   Summary: Eco-friendly fisher behaviour is encouraged by inviting the
sporting clientele to use lines with a baited hook on the line end that is
tossed into the water, and another hook on the other end (bait optional)
that the fishers puts in their mouth as they jump into the water for an
invigorating contest. Survivors report attaining a state of intense
experiential nonordinary reality or "nagual".

On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 11:17 PM, Verena Wiesbauer Ali <
marinebiology.verena at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> I'm getting the opportunity to replace traditional handline fishing gear
> for hotel guests in the Maldives ("Sunset fishing" as an attraction -
> nothing commercial here) with biodegradable gear. Sunset fishing is a
> horrible thing for our coral reefs when monofilaments are left behind,
> sometime fish swimming around with hook & line, but - at least - I welcome
> the move of the management to use better products. it's a huge
> revenue-generating activity for resorts in the maldives, so cancelling it
> altogether isn't an option at this point of time.
> Is anyone experienced in Bioline or biodegradable hooks? What is your
> opinion about it? i read that the biolines stay in the ecosystem for 5
> years!
> Thanks in advance,
> Verena Wiesbauer Ali, MSc
> Eco Islanders Maldives
> Sent from my iPhone
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"... the earth is, always has been, and always will be more beautiful than
it is useful."
William Ophuls, 1977. The Politics of Scarcity

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