Overfishing at an unsustainable rate is a growing problem in the world's oceans and lakes. An alarming 59 percent of the world's fish stock is fully exploited or depleted. If you are a recreational fisher, you may not be overly concerned about your impact on global fish stock depletion. The big fishing trawlers on the horizon are the irresponsible fishers, you reason.
In fact, the number of recreational fishers is estimated to be 700 million—twice the amount of commercial fishers. Overfishing regulations have primarily targeted large commercial fishing operations. As a recreational fisher, one way you can contribute to sustainable fishing is by adopting sustainable live bait practices.
Fish With Local Live Bait
When shallow water is teaming with minnows, shad, and other small fish, it is a good time to go trawling for bait fish. A bottom pocket cast net can capture schools of these fresh fish. But there's no need to keep them all. Take only the fish of a suitable size to bait your large catch. Throw the rest back in the water.
If you're going to use this bait in another body of water, however, you could contribute to the decline in fish populations. The use of non-local live bait can harm the ecosystem by contributing to lower diversity across species and the ecosystem.
Throw Back By-catch
In the shallow habitats of many bait fish, baby sports-fish are also swimming about. As soon as you drag your pocket cast net back into shore, toss these baby fish back into the water. Otherwise, you will have fewer large fish to catch in the future. By taking only the fish you need, you will cause minimal disruption to the natural ecosystem.
Use LED Lights to Attract Natural Bait and Deter By-catch
Anglers using colored LED lights report attracting more bait fish to their pocket cast nets. The vision of many fish is highly receptive to green light. When night fishing, a green light will attract minnows, shads, and other bait fish. These bait fish do not have to be removed from their habitat to, in turn, attract larger sports-fish. These lights can also deter by-catch. The number of birds and sea turtles caught in fishing nets was reduced by 85 percent and 64 percent, respectively, when green lights were used.
When you do go on a fishing trip, support ecotourism. Recreational fishers spend tens of billions of dollars worldwide on travel and accommodation. Choose sustainable travel options.
To learn more about the uses of pocket cast nets and how to use them sustainably, contact sellers in your area.Share
8 May 2020
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