Exploitation of small indigenous fish species using shore seines in three reservoirs of Sri Lanka
P.A.D. AJITH KUMARA AND U.S. AMARASINGHE
The fish resources in reservoirs of Sri Lanka are not efficiently harvested due to various reasons such as gear and mesh restrictions and consumer preference. However, there is a potential for augmenting reservoir fisheries production by exploiting under-exploited and unexploited fish resources in reservoirs. In the present study, an attempt was made to investigate whether shore seining could be effectively used for differential exploitation of small indigenous fish species in three Sri Lankan reservoirs. It was found that shore seining was not effective for catching all species present in reservoirs. The index of relative importance determined for fish species indicated that apart from the differences between reservoirs, their relative importance in the shore seine catches was influenced by the water level of the reservoir. It is evident from the present study that in order to establish a fishery for this under-exploited species, shore seining is the appropriate fishing strategy. However, such a fishery is needed to be strictly managed for preventing indiscriminate exploitation of exotic cichlids in Sri Lankan reservoirs, which form productive fisheries.