Fish traps are weighted at the bottom so that when they are set, they land the correct way up on the sea floor. Traps are baited so that fish are drawn to the scent of the bait and swim through the opening. The traps are designed in such a way that fish cannot escape once inside. To ensure that juvenile and non-target fish can escape, fish traps have escape gaps of a minimum size.
When traps are set, they are connected to a downline that is bridled at one end and attached to the trap at the other. The downline is linked to a surface buoy, which allows fishermen to locate the traps. Traps used in AFMA-managed fisheries are only allowed to have one entrance and must meet other minimum requirements such as trap size and escape gaps.
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