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Summary

Catch statistics were monitored from well established small-scale shrimp fisheries in Negombo lagoon and the adjacent coast in western Sri Lanka, in order to evaluate resource usage, gear selectivity, and spatio-temporal dynamics of catches and CPUE. A total of 55 species, representing 35 families, including 13 shrimp species were recorded from 3546 samples obtained weekly during January 2009-April 2010, for nine types of gear in six fishing grounds. Special emphasis was on shrimp catches: four main shrimp species, Metapenaeus dobsoni, Fenneropenaeus indicus, Parapenaeopsis coromandelica and Penaeus semisulcatus, represented 82% of the total shrimp landings. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) differed among fishing grounds, months and gear types. Species diversity differed among the gear chosen. Hierarchical cluster analysis based on presence-absence of the species data of catches showed that clustering was based on habitat rather than on the fishing gear. Species composition analysed with a Detrended Correspondence Analyses over months and fishing grounds showed a distinction of trawl gear from the remainder of the gear operated in the lagoon. The information presented is of importance for evaluation of the present status of the shrimp fishery and for developing management strategies based on the types of gear.