Indigenous craft and gears used for crab fishery in Cochin estuary, Kerala, southwest coast of India

K. A, Aneesa ; A.V, Shibu ; E. R, Chaithanya ; Joseph, Aneykutty


This paper presents an overview of fishing gears and crafts operated for crab fishery in the Cochin estuary. A survey was made in selected areas of the Cochin estuary to study the design and operational details of indigenous craft and gears used in crab fishing. Primary data on crab fishery were collected from fish landing centers and fishing villages through a structured questionnaire. Crab gillnets and ring nets are the dominant artisanal gear supporting crab fishery throughout the study area. Long lines were one of the widely deployed fishing gears for the crab fishery, which is now operational only in limited areas of the Cochin estuary. Incidental catch of crabs is also noted in the stake net and Chinese dip net. The wounding gears and traditional fishing techniques, viz., vazhuka method and midrib trap, are not deployed in commercial crab fishery as they result in low-value realization. The survey discloses that ring net and crab gillnet accounted for 98% of the crab landing along the Cochin estuary. Scylla serrata and Scylla olivacea are the essential species contributing to inland crab fishery along the study area. Wooden canoes belonging to 3 to 7 m in length overall (LOA) are employed for crab fishing. Migrant fishermen use Coracles and the FRP canoes for crab gill net operations along the stretches of the backwaters.



Cochin backwater, Crab gill net, Craft, Gear, Ring net, Scylla sp.

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