Trials to Assess the Effects of Bobbin Groundgear and a 200 mm Square Mesh Panel to Reduce Unwanted By-Catches in the Commercial Nephrops Fishery
Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 8 No 3
The Gear Innovation and Technology Advisory Group (GITAG) funded trials to assess whether the unwanted by-catch of round and flatfish could be reduced in the Nephrops trawl fishery using a modified Nephrops trawl incorporating 200mm bobbins and a 200mm square mesh panel. Catches of Nephrops and monkfish remained consistent with that of a standard commercial Nephrops trawl. There were significant reductions in relative catch rates of cod and larger haddock (>25cm) and whiting (>28cm). There was no significant difference between the two trawls for haddock below 24cm and for whiting below 27cm. There was a significant reduction in the quantities of smaller common dab (<19cm) and long rough dab (<21cm) that were caught when using the modified trawl. However, significantly more larger plaice above 30cm were retained by the modified trawl.