These metrics track spillover effects from the non-fishing zones (NFZs) into fishing zones, demonstrating that the establishment of NFZs (i.e. restricting fishers) actually benefits fishers. As populations, size and diversity of fish are allowed to rebound in the NFZs, some of those fish inevitably leave the NFZ and are caught by small-scale fishers, increasing the number, size and diversity of fish in their daily landings. This approach secures stable fish populations for the future, a provisioning service that is important to fishers’ longterm livelihoods.
Waiting for results.
Anecdotal reports from fishers before the NFZs were established were that they were catching less per unit effort as a result of overfishing, and they were having to deploy more fishing gear to catch the same amount of fish in previous years, which was costly. Early evidence suggests that the NFZs are benefitting the fish and also the fishers, who are catching more per unit effort than before the NFZs were established. This indicates ecosystem recovery and the potential for sustainable use of this seascape by small-scale fishers in the future.
These indicators are defined as the amount of fish landed by either a standard 3000 meter long trammel net or per 100 hooks of longline per day, occurring outside the NFZ. Data is collected daily by a fishing cooperative that records total fish weight by species for each fishers daily catch, when it is purchased by the cooperative. Data typically comes from between 50-80 fishers per day. Catch per unit effort is calculated as kilograms per 100 metres of net or kilograms per 100 hooks deployed, depending on the fishing method used. Final variables include the species caught and its weight (in grams) per fish, and also the overall number of fish caught per unit effort (one trammel net or 100 hooks of longline).
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