Diet and Trophic Status of Fish Landed by Tropical Artisanal Bait Fishers, Mida Creek Kenya  

Kihia C.M.1 , Hendrick Y.2 , Muthumbi A.3 , Okondo J.4 , Nthiga A.3 , Njuguna V.M 3
1. Department of Biological Sciences, Egerton University PO Box 536, Egerton, Kenya
2. Currently at Rift Valley Water and Service Board PO Box 561-20117, Naivasha
3. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi PO Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya 4. Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, PO Box 81651, Mombasa, Kenya
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2015, Vol. 5, No. 42   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2015.05.0042
Received: 27 Mar., 2015    Accepted: 26 May, 2015    Published: 03 Jul., 2015
© 2015 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Kihia C .M. , Hendrick Y., Muthumbi A., Okondo J., Nthiga A and Njuguna V. M., 2015, Diet and trophic status of fish landed by tropical artisanal bait fishermen, Mida Creek Kenya, International Journal of Marine Science, 5(42): 1-9 (doi: 10.5376/ijms/2015.05.0042)

Abstract

Marine overfishing is characterized by trophic cascades, due to selective removal of preferred top carnivores and confronts tropical fisheries managers in the absence of empirical evidence. This study compares the diets and trophic levels of fish landed by bait fishermen at Mida Creek, biosphere reserve, Kenya. Stomach content of fish landed using hook and line, baited with polychaete (choo) and hermit crab (dophe), and basket traps baited with mangrove whelk (tondo), were examined and compared. Results indicate that fish landed, consumed gastropod and fish, hence belong to 2.9th trophic level. Significant difference in trophic level occurred between gear and bait type. Hooks baited with dophe landed a variety of fish with a higher trophic level, such as Carangidae (TL>3.0), compared to other gears that landed lower trophic levels, such as Gerridae. Observed differences were attributed to gear and bait selectivity and differences in fishing grounds exploited. Absence of large top carnivores from landings is attributed to long-term overfishing pressure in nearshore fishing grounds. Additionally dietary overlap in mangrove dependent and creek fishes, landed by trap and hook fishermen, respectively, presents hitherto unexplored impacts.

Keywords
Bait fishermen; Polychaete; Hermit crab; Gastropod; Hook; Traps; Trophic levels
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