THE Langstone Harbour Board runs an annual survey of the small fish population in the harbour waters and the first leg of the 2013 survey has just been completed.
We use two different kinds of fishing net to catch fish from three different areas of Langstone Harbour.
By using different methods to catch the fish and by surveying different areas of the harbour we hope to catch the widest possible variety of species.
The survey looks at the variety and size of fish species present in the harbour, as well as measuring environmental factors such as the temperature and clarity of the water.
Once the fish are caught they are identified and measured before being released unharmed back into the sea.
The data that the survey collects will help us to learn more about changes in the fish population over time and the factors driving those changes.
During the 2012 Small Fish Survey more than 12,000 individual fish representing 28 different species were found in Langstone Harbour, including flounder, gilthead bream and herring.
It is too early to tell yet how the 2013 data will compare, but once the second part of the survey is completed in September a report will be available on our website.
Langstone Harbour’s fishermen often talk of how fish stocks in the harbour have declined dramatically since the 1980s. Hopefully the Small Fish Survey will help us to understand the changes occurring in our fish populations and make better conservation management decisions in the future.
For more information visit the environment pages at langstoneharbour.org.uk.