Characterization of Artisanal Fishing Harvest with Hook and Line in the Artificial Reefs Located in Isla del Tigre and Zacate Grande, Honduras

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Zamorano: Escuela Agrícola Panamericana
Commercial fisheries play a crucial role in food production and employment globally. However, overfishing has led to a decline in fish stocks, negatively affecting catch yields in open waters. This overfishing is not restricted to commercial fisheries but also applies to artisanal fisheries in the Gulf of Fonseca, Honduras. To support fisher communities, artificial reefs were stablished in the gulf area 4 years ago. Artisanal hook and line fishing on artificial reefs in Isla del Tigre and Zacate Grande were surveyed to assess the impacts of these reefs. In parallel, 40 fishermen were interviewed to evaluate their perception. The installation of artificial reefs has been positively received by anglers, after leading to an initial doubling in catch per unit effort. However, over time, there has been a decline in fish yield, with current yield well below pre reef catches. Three quarters of Fishermen however still overwhelmingly perceive reefs as positive and advocate creating more. It is recommended that conservation measures including no fish zones, minimum size restrictions, and seasonal closures be implemented before stocks are completely wiped out. Additionally, periodic monitoring of stocks and compliance is recommended.
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Catch yield, fish stocks, fishery sustainability