Reduce the number or modify the arrangement of tickler chains/chain mats on trawl nets

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    43%
  • Certainty
    32%
  • Harms
    10%

Source countries

Key messages

  • Three studies examined the effects of reducing the number or modifying the arrangement of tickler chains/chain mats on subtidal benthic invertebrates. All studies were in the North Sea (Germany and Netherlands).

 

COMMUNITY RESPONSE (0 STUDIES)

POPULATION RESPONSE (3 STUDIES)

  • Overall abundance (1 study): One replicated, paired, controlled study in the North Sea found that using a beam trawl with a chain mat caused lower mortality of benthic invertebrates in the trawl tracks compared to using a beam trawl with tickler chains.
  • Unwanted catch abundance (2 studies): One of two replicated, paired, controlled studies in the North Sea found that all three modified parallel tickler chain arrangements reduced the combined amount of non-commercial unwanted invertebrate and fish catch compared to unmodified trawl nets, but the other found that none of three modified parabolic tickler chain arrangements reduced it.

OTHER (2 STUDIES)

  • Commercial catch abundance (2 studies): One of two replicated, paired, controlled studies in the North Sea found that three modified parabolic tickler chain arrangements caught similar amounts of commercial species to unmodified nets, but the other found that three modified parallel tickler chain arrangements caught lower amounts.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1992–1995 in one area of sandy seabed in the south-eastern North Sea, Netherlands and Germany (Bergman & Van Santbrink 2000) found that using a beam trawl with a chain mat caused lower mortality of benthic invertebrates in the trawl tracks (not caught by the nets) compared to using a beam trawl with tickler chains. Mortality using a chain mat varied between 4 and 15% depending on species and was lower than when using tickler chains (1–30%). In spring-summer 1992–1995 parallel strips (2,000 x 60 m, 300 m apart, number unspecified) were fished with 4-m beam trawls with either a chain mat or tickler chains. Prior to trawling, ‘mega’-invertebrates >10 mm) and ‘macro’-invertebrates (between 1 and 10 mm) were counted from samples taken from each strip using a dredge and a sediment grab. After 24–48 h following trawling, all strips were sampled again using the same methods. Mortality (from trawling) of invertebrates present in the trawl tracks was calculated using the difference between the before and after-trawling abundances (assuming all animals killed by trawling had been eaten by predators).

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1999 in one area of seabed in the North Sea, Netherlands (Van Marlen et al. 2005a) found that none of three modified tickler chain arrangements for trawl nets reduced the amount of non-commercial unwanted invertebrates and fish catch (discard), compared to unmodified trawl nets. Nets modified with two of the three tickler chain arrangements tested caught similar amount of discard to unmodified nets (153–175 vs 145–166 kg/h). The third arrangement (25 cm spacing) caught more discard than unmodified nets (123 vs 112 kg/h). All modified nets caught similar amounts of commercial species to unmodified nets (35–50 vs 33–36 kg/h). In conventional tickler chain rigging, both ends of chains are attached at either ends of the beam. Three parabolic tickler chain arrangements, where attachment points are distributed along the beam, were tested on trawl nets: 25 cm spacing; 40 cm spacing; 25 cm spacing with 35 cm for the centre chain. In October 1999, each arrangement was compared a conventional tickler chain during 5–17 paired simultaneous deployments along parallel strips (2,000 x 30 m). Catches were sorted into commercial and discard species, and each group weighed.

     

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1999 in one area of seabed in the North Sea, Netherlands (Van Marlen et al. 2005b) found that all three modified tickler chain arrangements for trawl nets reduced the amount of non-commercial unwanted invertebrates and fish catch (discard), compared to unmodified trawl nets. Nets modified with either of three tickler chain arrangements tested caught less discard than unmodified nets (46–80 vs 80–117 kg/h). However, all modified nets also caught lower amounts of commercial species compared to unmodified nets (43–49 vs 52–58 kg/h). In conventional tickler chain rigging, both ends of chains are attached at either ends of the beam. Three parallel tickler chain arrangements, where chains are distributed along the beam but only attached at one end, were tested on trawl nets: 21 chains, 50 cm spacing; 29 chains, 35 cm spacing; 29 chains, 35 cm spacing with 10 connected pairs. In March–April 1999, each arrangement was compared to a conventional tickler chain during 11–42 paired simultaneous deployments along parallel strips (2,000 x 30 m). Catches were sorted into commercial and discard species, and each group weighed.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Lemasson, A.J., Pettit, L.R., Smith, R.K. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation. Pages 635-732 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation - Published 2020

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