Selectivity in a trawl codend during haul-back operation: An overlooked phenomenon

Niels Madsen, R. Skeide, M. Breen, Ludvig Ahm Krag, I. Huse, A.V. Soldal

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The selectivity of a 99ámm trawl codend was assessed using a codend cover fitted with a MultiSampler, which was acoustically triggered to take separate samples at three different phases of the haul. The first sample was collected during towing, the second during haul-up and the third at the surface. A total of 18 hauls were conducted with a commercial fishing vessel west of Scotland. It was demonstrated that escapes take place not only during the tow but also in the short period when the trawl is hauled back from the seabed and when the codend is at the surface. For haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus), whiting (Merlangius merlangus) and Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus), respectively, the mean percentages escaping at the surface were 16, 12 and 38% of the total escape while 17, 8 and 28% escaped during the haul-up phase. Compared to towing, the escape rate (no./min) increased for haddock by a factor 2.7 during haul-up and by a factor 1.7 at the surface, whereas the escape rates of whiting were similar for the three phases. The escape rate of Norway lobster increased by a factor of approximately 7 for both the haul-up and surface phases, compared to the towing phase. The selectivity parameters L50 (50% retention length) and SR (selection rangeá=áL75-L25) were estimated and compared for the three different phases and for the whole haul for haddock, whiting and Norway lobster. For all three species there was no significant (Pá>á0.05) difference in L50 between the three phases of the haul. There was also no significant difference for whiting and Norway lobster when comparing the SR of the three phases, whereas the SR was significantly lower for haddock when comparing the surface phase with towing and haul-up. The estimate of L50 when towing was about 6ácm lower for haddock and whiting and 9ámm for Norway lobster compared to the selection curve estimated conventionally for the whole haul. Finally, the effect of sea state, duration and codend catch on the selectivity parameters were estimated for the individual phases and for the whole haul. A significant effect of at least one variable was found in all phases.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFisheries Research
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)168-174
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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