Net escapement of Antarctic krill in trawls (NEAT) (38919)

Project Details


The pelagic trawlers involved in the Antarctic krill harvest apply different trawl systems and fishing gear. There were many unknown parameters on which to estimate the catch efficiency of the different trawls that were used.

The aim of the project was to establish morphology based description of the selection process of Antarctic krill in towed fishing gear (FISHSELECT). This knowledge lead to optimizations of trawl designs in the krill fishery and was used to quantify the consequences in terms of catch efficiency, potential escape mortality and catch loss of using different gear designs of different population structures. Such information is valuable both for managers and the industry exploiting the resource.

Research area: Fisheries Technology

We performed a study including morphology based mathematical modeling (FISHSELECT) of different krill sex and maturity groups, from data acquired through AKES (Antarctic Krill and Ecosystem Studies). The FISHSELECT method has previously been used to describe and predict size selection of fish and crustaceans. The methodology was used to describe and predict size selection of krill in trawl gear. The model was used to predict basic selective characteristics of different netting designs.

The results from these calculations were used to quantify the theoretic catch efficiency and escape mortality in different nets and to construct a net configuration with optimal mesh size and shape in order to minimize escape mortality.

Finally, we constructed design guides, which described the basis selective properties for krill in different mesh shapes and sizes.

This project was coordinated by DTU Aqua and funded by the Research Council of Norway.
Effective start/end date01/01/201231/12/2014