Study

Use of a semi-pelagic trawl in a tropical demersal trawl fishery

  • Published source details Ramm D.C., Mounsey R.P., Xiao Y. & Poole S.E. (1993) Use of a semi-pelagic trawl in a tropical demersal trawl fishery. Fisheries Research, 15, 301-313.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use an alternative commercial fishing method

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Use an alternative commercial fishing method

    A replicated, controlled study in 1991 of fishing grounds over mud and coral reef in the Arafura Sea, off Northern Australia (Ramm et al. 1993) found that using an alternative method of fishing (semi-pelagic trawl, towed just above the seabed) to target snapper Lutjanus spp. reduced the unwanted fish catch overall, and of just over half of the species individually, compared to traditional demersal (bottom-towed) trawls. Catch rates of unwanted fish were lower in semi-pelagic trawls (195 kg/tow) than traditional demersal trawls (453 kg/tow). Catch rates of 75 unwanted fish species were lower in semi-pelagic trawls, 52 fish species were similar between trawl types, and seven species were caught more frequently in semi-pelagic trawls (see paper for species individual data). In addition, catches of marketable commercial fish were similar between trawl types for 10 of 16 species groups (semi-pelagic trawl: 392 kg/tow, demersal trawl: 320 kg/tow). Fourteen tows were undertaken in March 1991 for each of a semi-pelagic trawl (0.3 m above the seabed) with a buoyed headline, and a traditional demersal trawl. Both trawl nets had a similar codend volume with 112 mm mesh size, 65 m trawl widths and were towed for 3 h. Full details of trawl design are provided in the original study. All catches were weighed, and fish identified.

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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