On the survival of plaice and sole discards in the otter-trawl and beam-trawl fisheries in the North Sea

  • Published source details van Beek F.A., van Leeuwen P.I. & Rijnsdorp A.D. (1990) On the survival of plaice and sole discards in the otter-trawl and beam-trawl fisheries in the North Sea. Netherlands Journal of Sea Research, 26, 151-160.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce duration of fishing gear deployments

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Reduce duration of fishing gear deployments

    A replicated, controlled study in 1972–1982 in an area of seabed in the North Sea (van Beek et al. 1990) found that survival of sole Solea solea and plaice Pleuronectes platessa discards was higher in shorter deployments of beam trawls, but not of plaice in otter trawls, for tow durations between one and two hours. For beam trawls, survival of sole and plaice 84 hours after capture was higher for 60-minute deployments (sole: 21%, plaice: 19%) compared to 120-minute deployments (sole: 7%, plaice: 10%). For otter trawls, survival of plaice 84 hours after capture was lower for 60-minute deployments (11%) compared to 100–105-minute deployments (33%). Commercial fishing vessels carried out 12 × 60-minute and 15 × 120-minute-long beam trawl deployments between November 1979 and December 1982 in the North Sea (location not reported). Gear was towed at 5–5.5 knots. A research vessel carried out 3 × 60-minute and 4 × 100–105-minute-long deployments using an otter trawl between November 1972 and February 1975 towed at 3.5 knots (North Sea, exact location not reported). Sole of 20–28 cm length and plaice of 20–30 cm length were removed from each catch onboard and placed in seawater tanks (40 × 60 × 12 cm). Survival was monitored every 12 hours until all fish had died or the end of the survey.

    (Summarised by: Rosslyn McIntyre)

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