Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 341-359

First online:

The fishery of the Comoros, with comments on its possible impact on coelacanth survival

  • Robin E. StobbsAffiliated withJ.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology
  • , Michael N. BrutonAffiliated withJ.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology

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The traditional methods of deepsea handline fishing in the Comoros are described. The main target species is the oilfish Ruvettus pretiosus, and the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae is caught as a bycatch. In recent years motorised dugout canoes as well as outboard- and inboard-powered boats have been introduced into the fishery, and more efficient fishing tackle has become available. The more modern gear is intended for use on pelagic fishes and has added a new dimension to the fishery. Traditional handline fishermen are not considered to be a threat to the coelacanth, but the fishermen equipped with motorised boats and modern tackle would constitute a real threat if they direct their efforts on inshore reefs.

Key words

Artisanal fishing Canoes Conservation Fishing methods Ruvettus