Bycatch reduction in the Northeast USA directed haddock bottom trawl fishery

  • Published source details Beutel D., Skrobe L., Castro K., Ruhle Sr. P., Ruhle Jr. P., O'Grady J. & Knight J. (2008) Bycatch reduction in the Northeast USA directed haddock bottom trawl fishery. Fisheries Research, 94, 190-198.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Modify the design or configuration of trawl gear (mixed measures)

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Modify the design or configuration of trawl gear (mixed measures)

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2005–2006 in an area of seabed in the northwest Atlantic Ocean, USA (Beutel et al. 2008) found that using a modified design of bottom fish trawl (large mesh in the front sections) reduced the catches of most non-target fish species, compared to a conventional trawl. Total catch weights were lower in the modified trawl compared to the conventional trawl for 15 of 19 non-target fish species, including cod Gadus morhua (the main unwanted species) and several other commercial bottom species with stock levels of concern (see original paper for species individual data). Total catch weights of haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus (the target species) were similar between trawl types (modified: 12,580, standard: 14,327 kg), and the ratio of haddock by weight to that of four key non-target fish species was increased in modified trawls from less <1 haddock/non-target species to 151 haddock/non-target species. Data were collected from 100 parallel trawl deployments on two vessels during four fishing trials from June 2005 to April 2006, in and around a closed area on the Georges Bank (37–154 m depth). Vessels towed side-by-side, one using a modified trawl design constructed with large mesh (240 cm) front sections (‘Eliminator TrawlTM’), and the other a conventional trawl. Full details of the trawl designs are provided in the original study.

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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