Characterizing a small-scale, data-poor, artisanal fishery: Seahorses in the central Philippines

Small-scale artisanal fisheries that target sedentary stocks have been largely ignored by fisheries management agencies, despite their great importance for food security and livelihoods. We characterized the fishing effort and biological parameters of one such fishery for seahorses in the central Philippines from 1996 to 1999.

We found that catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) was very low, particularly when compared with historical accounts. There were significant seasonal differences in CPUE, with higher catches and more juveniles in February–April. Fishers differed in their skill at catching seahorses but fishing grounds did not differ in seahorse catches.

We found increases in the mean size of landed seahorses during the study but decreases in the proportion of brooding males.

We interpret these data in terms of potential co-management options for the fishery.

Vincent, A.C.J., J.J. Meeuwig, M.G. Pajaro and N.C. Perante. 2007. Characterizing a small-scale, data-poor, artisanal fishery: seahorses in the central Philippines. Fisheries Research 86:207-215.