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Image of the Day: Fish Fences

Structures built in tropical coastal waters capture fish, but harm the ecosystem and may lead to overfishing.

May 22, 2019
Chia-Yi Hou

ABOVE: A fish fence in Belize using chicken wire
GABBY AHMADIA

Fish fences are used in tropical coastal regions to capture fish and funnel them into holding structures. The fences damage ecosystems and remove barriers to overfishing, according to a study published yesterday (May 21) in Nature Communications. The authors report a 15-year case study of the ecological and socioeconomic effects of fish fences in South America, West Africa, East Africa, the Persian Gulf, the Indo-Pacific, and Pacific Islands.

D.A. Exton et al., “Artisanal fish fences pose broad and unexpected threats to the tropical coastal seascape,” Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/s41467-019-10051-0, 2019.

View of a fish fence from under water
BENJAMIN JONES

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