Study

Avoidance of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) with a topless trawl in the New England groundfish fishery

  • Published source details Eayrs S., Pol M., Caporossi S.T. & Bouchard C. (2017) Avoidance of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) with a topless trawl in the New England groundfish fishery. Fisheries Research, 185, 145-152

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use a topless (coverless) trawl

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Use a topless (coverless) trawl

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2011 in bottom fishing grounds in the Gulf of Maine off Boston, USA (Eayrs et al. 2017) found that using a topless trawl reduced the unwanted catches of cod Gadus morhua in a mixed species bottom fishery, compared to a standard trawl. The catch rates of cod were lower with the topless trawl compared to the standard trawl (topless: 182 kg/hr, standard: 374 kg/h). In addition, catch rates were similar between trawl types for four of five species/species groups of commercial value: yellowtail flounder Limanda ferruginea (topless: 83 kg/h, standard: 82 kg/h), skates Rajidae (topless: 36 kg/h, standard: 32 kg/h), witch flounder Glyptocephalus cynoglossus (topless: 22 kg/h, standard: 25 kg/h) and spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias (topless: 22 kg/h, standard: 27 kg/h). Catches of long rough dab Hippoglossoides platessoides were lower in the topless trawl (topless: 36 kg/h, standard: 49 kg/h), however, the reduction was almost all undersized individuals (data reported as statistical result). Data were collected in May and June 2011 from 30 paired deployments on a commercial fishing vessel using the topless and standard trawl net designs towed in parallel (45 min, 2.6 kt). The headline length of the topless and standard trawls were 46 m and 21 m, respectively, and headline to footrope ratios were 1.7:1 and 0.8:1, respectively. See original paper for full gear specifications.

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust