Effectiveness of a square-mesh escape panel in reducing finfish bycatch in a small-mesh bottom trawl used in the longfin inshore squid (Loligo pealeii) fishery


Hendrickson, L.



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Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document

Publisher Address: 

Woods Hole Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, 166 Water St., Woods Hole, MA 02543

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A parallel haul method was used to determine the effectiveness of a square-mesh escape panel, installed in a bottom trawl, in reducing the bycatch of scup and other finfish bycatch species during the winter.  The square-mesh escape panel reduced the average catches of scup by 78% and 79% and catches of black sea bass by 69% and 75% in weight and numbers respectively.  The square-mesh escape panel was also effective in reducing catches of sublegal-size scup and black sea bass by 17% and 20% in weight and numbers respectively.  However, catches of the target species, longfin squid, were also reduced by 84% and 88% in weight and numbers respectively.  Therefore the square-mesh escape panel is not a reasonable solution for bycatch reduction in this fishery during winter months.