Three decades before, the gillnet was the major gear in Andaman and Nicobar Islands(ANI), India, because of the less expensive and simple method of operation with non-motorised small dinghies or without craft. Earlier, the gillnet landing was 39% of the total landings and a further report said 27%, which indicated the decrease in gillnet landings. The present study was carried out from 2014 to 2018 at four main fish landing centers (FLCs) Junglighat, Dignabad, Guptapara and Wandoor of ANI to investigate the present status of major gillnet landings. Altogether 1097 visits were carried out at all FLCs and 63.1% of visits occurred at Junglighat. The total landings of all FLCs were 3880.6 tons, of which 98.6% were recorded at Junglighat. The total gillnet landings were 330.4tons, of which Driftnet covered 82.1%, followed by bottom plastic(9.8%) and bottom nylon(8%) gillnets. Significant landings (P<0.0001) of Scombridae family were recorded through Drift gillnet (182.47tons) compared to other families. The family of Carangidae(7.71tons) and Clupeidae(16.54tons) were recorded dominantly through bottom plastic and bottom nylon gillnets, respectively. The gillnetters explored 31 fishing grounds in the South, Middle, North and Little Andamans sectors. The significant (P<0.0001) fish catch was recorded from the South Andaman sector. A total of 17 validation experiments carried out in each Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) and Non-PFZ by using PFZ advisories indicated a significant(P<0.0001) catch from PFZ(3.5:1). There was a decline of 18.5% in the landings of gillnet than earlier studies. It is suggested that the fishermen may follow the PFZ forecast for a better catch. The gillnet fishing to be promoted to under-exploited pelagic fishes of these islands will benefit the gillnetters.
Gillnetters, Junglighat, Landings, Scombridae, Validation
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