Can optimal trap mesh size be predicted from body depth in a laterally-compressed fish species?

  • Published source details Rudershausen P.J., Hightower J.E. & Buckel J.A. (2016) Can optimal trap mesh size be predicted from body depth in a laterally-compressed fish species?. Fisheries Research, 179, 259-270.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Modify fishing trap/pot configuration

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Modify fishing trap/pot configuration

    A replicated, controlled study in 2013 of an area of seabed in the Atlantic Ocean, USA (Rudershausen et al. 2016) found that traps with larger mesh sizes improved the size-selectivity of black sea bass Centropristis striata and reduced the catches of undersized individuals, compared to conventional smaller mesh sizes. The length at which bass had a 50% chance of escape increased with increasing trap mesh size (64 mm mesh: 325 mm, 57 mm mesh: 290 mm, standard 51 mm mesh: 260 mm, standard 38 mm mesh with 51 mm back panel: 245 mm). The average catch rate of bass below the minimum landing size (<279 mm) decreased with increasing mesh size (64 mm mesh: 0 fish/trap, 57 mm mesh: 1 fish/trap, standard 51 mm mesh: 6 fish/trap, standard 38 mm mesh with 51 mm back panel: 9 fish/trap). Data were collected in Onslow Bay (sampling season not reported) from 350 deployments of five different trap types, all of square mesh: 64 mm mesh, 57 mm mesh, 51 mm mesh, 38 mm mesh with a 51 mm back panel, and one small mesh trap (38 mm) to sample all sizes of fish (between 33 and 119 deployments each). Traps were baited and set on the seabed at least 100 m apart for 1–12 hours. All bass were counted, and total length measured.

    (Summarised by: Rosslyn McIntyre)

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