Finding Fish in Peru, Part One – Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Researchers have to get creative when searching for wildlife, especially in the water where animals can be difficult to spot and even more challenging to catch. The team in Peru used different fishing techniques — including cast nets, beach seines, gill nets and hand nets — to ensure they would find a wide variety of fish.

Beach seines, like the one used here, are dragged along the stream or sea bottom toward the shore. They help catch species found in the lower water column or along the sea floor and are most useful in shallow waters.

Cast nets, as their name implies, are cast along the water’s surface. They are often used in larger bodies of water to catch fish swimming in the upper water column. Hand nets are helpful in small streams, where they can be quickly placed and removed from areas where fish may be hiding.

Gill nets are used in deep, open waters and often have wider mesh for catching large species. They can be left in the water for many hours, hanging like a curtain to catch swimming fish.


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