By-catch for gillnets of different mesh sizes at katosi fish landing site.
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Incidental capture of non-targeted species during fishing operations is the major source of mortality to many aquatic organisms. Catching of non-targeted species can contribute to overfishing that lead to biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and ecosystem disturbance and slow efforts to rebuild fish stocks. The open access nature of the fishery in Uganda makes it difficult to control the fishing effort by fishermen who use both legal and illegal gears. These illegal fishing gears lead to a lot of by-catch. Some of it is discarded and might be injured and stressed and this calls for risks of predation, impairment of growth and reproduction and organic pollution in case of dead discards. This calls for the need to estimate by catch of different gears for selectivity purposes and to aid in the sustainable fisheries management practices. The study was therefore set out to determine the type and quantity of by-catch caught by gillnets of different gear specifications and to estimate the proportion of by-catch in relation to the total catch for gill net.