Inventory and Impact of Dominant Fishing Gear and Method in Eleyele Lake Oyo State, Nigeria

Gill nets fishery are potentially selective and therefore use as a sampling gear if mesh sizes are rightly chosen in order to conserve the young and developing fishes. The fishing potential of derelict passive gill net poses irreversible and economic loss on the aquatic ecosystem and fishermen respectively. There by contributing to biological assets loss and capable of causing navigational hazard. Precautionary approach towards Conserving and sustaining renewable aquatic resources is the best for exploitation of the cheapest sources of animal protein in sub-Sahara region. This paper gives inventory of the existing fishing gears and methods commonly in use, impacts of gill net fishery in terms of mesh sizes selectivity, catch per unit effort, fishing profitability index  in Eleyele Lake Ibadan and artificial fish aggregating device potential of derelict gill net in Oyo State resident Waters . A total of 539 fishing gears were encountered in six sampled areas of two strata; gill nets, traps, cast nets, dragnets and long – line (baited and un-baited). Gillnets accounted for 36% in the strata.  Apparently, stratum 1 had 159 and stratum 2 had 33 units of gill net; descriptive statistics showed Wide variation in the total fishing gears and methods observed in the strata and X2 (Chi square) showed significant (P> 0.01) in the numerical strength of gill nets and less significant (P> 0.01) of legal mesh sizes usage. The most caught species was tilapia, 57.7% by number and 33.8% by weight of the total catch and were not sizable with mean weight of 203 g of the total catch. Gill net fishery of Eleyele Lake comprises of legal and illegal mesh sizes of which the later accounted for 48% of 192 and its use accounted for over 58.7% by number and 20% by weight of the entire fish caught. This paper provides effects of catching process of gill net fishery in Eleyele Lake resulted into yields with wider variation across genera and species of fish caught (mean=341.5, S.D=229.2) and fetches its production cost about 12.23 times in a life span. Causes, and management initiatives; Preventive and curative of derelict gear for public awareness and change of attitude on the part of fishermen before concomitant irreversible ecological problem of ghost fishing.

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