Cease or prohibit all non-towed (static) fishing gear

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study examined the effects of ceasing or prohibiting all non-towed (static) fishing gears on marine fish populations. The study was in the Coral Sea (Australia).




  • Abundance (1 study): One replicated, site comparison study in the Coral Sea found that in areas closed to non-towed fishing gears overall shark abundance was higher when sampled with longlines but not gillnets compared to areas where commercial gillnets were permitted.
  • Condition (1 study): One replicated, site comparison study in the Coral Sea found that in areas closed to non-towed fishing gears shark length was greater for two of five species/groups, similar for two and dependent on sampling gear for one species, compared to areas where commercial gillnets were permitted.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, site comparison study in 2012–2014 of three coastal bays in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Coral Sea, Australia (Yate et al. 2016) found that prohibiting all non-towed fishing gears (commercial gillnets) resulted in higher abundance of sharks (Carcharhiniformes) than fished areas when sampled with longlines but not gillnets, and length was greater for some species in prohibited compared to fished areas. Overall shark abundance across bays was higher in longline samples in areas closed to gillnets compared to open (closed: 1.8, open: 1.3/100 hook hours), but not in gillnet samples (closed: 0.9–1.8, open: 0.6–1.4/100 m net hours). Length was greater for blacktips Carcharhinus tilstoni/Carcharhinus limbatus and pigeye Carcharhinus amboinensis in closed compared to open areas, and for Australian sharpnose Rhizoprionodon taylori in longline but not gillnet samples, and similar for scalloped hammerhead Sphyrna lewini and spot-tail Carcharhinus sorrah (data reported as statistical results). Commercial gillnet fishing was prohibited within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park across 38% of the total area (date of implementation not reported), whilst being permitted in other areas. In January 2012 - March 2013, eight 0.9 km wide transects were sampled in one closed and one open area in each of three bays. A minimum of five longline and four gillnet samples were done in each area and bay over four days, eight times each. In total 277 longlines 800 m long and 209 gill nets ≤400 m long were deployed. Sharks were identified, length recorded then released.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Taylor, N., Clarke, L.J., Alliji, K., Barrett, C., McIntyre, R., Smith, R.K., and Sutherland, W.J. (2021) Marine Fish Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Selected Interventions. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Marine Fish Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Marine Fish Conservation
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