Capture fishery practices and regulations in Mauritius

Credit:Emrith Vinesh (Mauritius)

The gear used for fishing is known as large net. This net has a maximum length of 500m and made up of square meshes measuring not less than 9 cm when stretched diagonally and when the net is wet (According to the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act)
It is prohibited to use the net between the 1st October in any year to the last day of February of the following year. These nets would be used between sunrise and sunset only. The twines of the yarn can either be 0.5mm nylon monofilaments or multifilament twine.  It is used in lagoons where the depths can vary between 1m and 6m.
The beginning of the net is preferably shot starting from a point on the beach or from the reef. When fishing in the middle of the sea, the net is shot from two pirogues moving apart slowly, shooting the pocket first.
Fish is driven into the net by the other boats, the fishermen on board beating the water surface with poles or knocking on the thwarts of their boat with sticks.

The main species caught are ‘Cordoniers’ (Siganus spp.), capitaines (Lethrinus spp.), Red mullet (Mullidae spp.) and Dame Berri (Lethrinus erythropterus).

The large net is very often used in conjunction with a ‘canard’ net which is specifically meant to capture mullets.
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