Recent work to improve the efficacy of square-mesh panels used in a North Sea Nephrops norvegicus directed fishery

  • Published source details Revill A.S., Catchpole T.L. & Dunlin G. (2007) Recent work to improve the efficacy of square-mesh panels used in a North Sea Nephrops norvegicus directed fishery. Fisheries Research, 85, 321-327.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Fit mesh escape panels/windows to a trawl net

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Fit mesh escape panels/windows to a trawl net

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2005–2006 of bottom fishing grounds in North Sea, UK (Revill et al. 2007) found that trawl nets fitted with two novel square mesh escape panel designs allowed more unwanted and undersized fish to escape capture, compared to industry standard square mesh panels. Trawl net codends fitted with an additional secondary escape panel in front of the industry standard panel allowed more undersized whiting Merlangius merlangus (<27 cm, 52%), Atlantic cod Gadus morhua (<35 cm, 45%), plaice Pleuronectes platessa (<25 cm, 47%) and haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus (<30 cm, 66%) to escape capture compared to trawls with the industry standard panel alone. Trawls fitted with a modified panel of white 2.5 mm twine (95 mm mesh) in place of the standard green 4.0 mm (87 mm mesh) panel allowed more undersized whiting (45%), cod (35%) and haddock (58%) to escape capture and catches of plaice were similar. Total catch of unwanted and discarded target Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus was lower using both modified escape panel designs than the industry standard. Data were collected in November 2005–January 2006 from 20 comparative trawl net deployments by a twin-rig trawler on commercial fishing grounds in the Farn Deeps. Two variants of square mesh panel codend, one with a second panel fitted in front of the industry standard panel, and one with a replacement panel of different mesh size and colour, were towed simultaneously with a standard trawl codend fitted with the industry standard escape panel (see paper for gear specifications). The catches of the main commercial fish species caught were analysed.

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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