November 4, 2016
Many Caribbean reef fisheries have been overexploited for decades and often their decline has been accelerated by a loss of habitat. Improved management of Caribbean reef fisheries is vital to ensure their future sustainability. Reef fisheries in the Caribbean are difficult to manage due to the use of multiple fishing gear types, the number of species harvested, and the dispersed landing sites used by the fishers. Additionally, there is very little published information available on Caribbean reef fisheries and limited research into the effects of management. This review provides a synthesis of the published literature on four gears commonly used in Caribbean reef fisheries: fish traps, spears, hook and line, and beach seines, summarizing evidence on best management practices for each gear. The authors provide brief descriptions of each of the four gear types as well a synthesis of their use, biological impacts, and ecosystem impacts.The management recommendations are general recommendations on gear restrictions that could be applied to any Caribbean reef fishery.