Summary of Abstract Submission

Abstract Submission No. IO50-03-0023PresentationPoster


Agnes Muthumbi*1, Charles Kihia2, Julius Okondo3, Aniel Nthiga 1, Vincent Njuguna1

1 School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya
2 Department of Biology, Egerton University, Kenya
3 Kenya Marine & Fisheries Research Institute, Kenya


Bait fishing is a common among artisanal fishers in tropical regions. Baits are acquired by gleaning for invertebrates, like gastropods, crustaceans and worms within the intertidal zone. Although, fishing is regulated through the control of net mesh sizes, bait fishing is assumed to be harmless to the environment and therefore no regulation is in place. In spite of that bait fishing can cause not only devastating environmental damage during harvesting but can also interfere with fish recruitment since inshore artisanal fishery concentrates on catching juvenile fish due to use of small hook size. T establish impact of this fishery, we studied three sites (Dabaso, Mayonda and Kirekwe) at Mida Creek where randomly selected bait fishers using polychaetes as bait, were followed throughout their fishing activity during two sampling occasions (November 2013 & February 2014) for three days at a time. The time taken to collect adequate quantity of polychaete, quantity of sediment excavated and biomass of fish caught was recorded. Endobenthic communities (macro and meiofauna) were also studied. Extensive polychaete bait digging was witnessed at Mayonda, with less digging activity in the other two sites (Dabaso and Kirepwe). Diggers excavated at least 3 holes, overturning between 0.7 and 1m3 of sediment to recover 50g-100g polychaete for one fishing expedition and landed between 2-3kg of fish per day. Endobenthic community assemblages, sediment total organic matter and mangrove forest complexity varied between sites. These results points to a need to review the fisheries policy to include regulation on bait fishery.