Improving the effectiveness of escape windows in directed Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus trawl fisheries

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2012

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A substantial improvement in the bycatch selectivity of Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus trawls is required, particularly with respect to cod Gadus morhua , whose stocks are at low levels in several areas. Conventional escape windows are not adequate to properly release cod and other bycatch species caught in
the trawls. To address this issue, we developed a novel sorting box concept consisting of a four-panel section with a window on the top in order to improve the escape of cod and other bycatch species through an escape
window while retaining the target catch of Norway lobster. The concept was tested on a commercial trawler in Kattegat and Skagerrak. Two different window mesh sizes and two different sorting box heights were tested using a traditional codend cover and a dual codend cover. We observed greatly reduced bycatches of both cod and other fish species compared to a standard codend. The reduction in bycatch decreased with decreasing mesh size and increasing height of the sorting box. Escape of Norway lobster through the escape window was limited. A modified version of the sorting box concept was implemented in the Kattegat fishery from 2009 onwards
Original languageEnglish
JournalFisheries Science
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)965-975
StatePublished - 2012
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 2
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ID: 9683455