Spawning aggregations of fish in Cabo Delgado, Northern Mozambique: An interview-based survey of artisanal fishers
Seasonal aggregations at specific sites are common among some fish species. Experienced fishermen know where and when these aggregations happen, often targeting these spawning sites to increase their catch. This strategy can further contribute to endangering the survival of these species, especially for those already threatened by other forms of pressure. This study contributes knowledge to the spawning aggregation of fish in the north of Mozambique following survey work conducted around Cabo Delgado Province in six coastal villages in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The objectives of the study were 1) to identify the species and sites of spawning aggregation and 2) to determine the timing of spawning aggregations. Data collection consisted of interviews targeting the most experienced fishermen to obtain information on these subjects. The results indicate that out of 124 fishermen interviewed, 59% had knowledge of spawning aggregations. The information collected from fisher interviews revealed that there are at least six spawning locations and at least eight species aggregate to spawn (Leptoscarus vaigensis, Lethrinus harak, Lethrinus nebulosus, Lethrinus obsoletus, Lethrinus olivaceus, Plectorhinchus gaterinus, Plectorhinchus schotaf, Siganus sutor). Only Siganus sutor was reported to spawn in at least one of the fishing areas used by every village. The timing of spawning aggregations most reported by fishermen was during the Kusi (South) monsoon period.
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