Effect of the headline height of gillnets on species selectivity in the Gulf of Maine

  • Published source details He P. (2006) Effect of the headline height of gillnets on species selectivity in the Gulf of Maine. Fisheries Research, 78, 252-256.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Modify gillnet or entangling (trammel/tangle) net configuration

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Modify gillnet or entangling (trammel/tangle) net configuration

    A replicated, controlled study in 2003 of an area of seabed in the Gulf of Maine, off New Hampshire, USA (He 2006) found that modifying the configuration of a bottom gillnet (reducing the net height/number of meshes) reduced the unwanted catches of cod Gadus morhua in one of two net designs, compared to two nets of standard height. Cod catch rates were lower in one of two reduced height gillnets (eight meshes deep) compared to the other reduced height net (12 meshes deep) and two types of standard net of 25 meshes height (eight mesh: 8; 12 mesh: 14; standard cod net: 32, tie-down flounder net: 11 fish/five-net fleet). In addition, the eight mesh net had higher catches of the targeted flounder Pleuronectidae species than one of the standard 25 mesh nets (cod net), but lower than the other (flounder net) (eight mesh: 5, standard cod net: 4, tie-down flounder net: 11 fish/five-net fleet). During July and August 2003, forty comparative fishing sets of four types of gillnet (see paper for specifications) were fished on the seabed at depths between 34–76 m, at random locations in the same general area within half a mile apart. The gillnets were left overnight for 18–28 hr.

    (Summarised by: Natasha Taylor)

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