Completion Report for Sturgeon Gillnet Study (number EA 133F-10-RQ-1160)


Fox, D., Armstrong J., and Brown, L.



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Monkfish in the US mid-Atlantic and northeast are targeted through sink gillnets that also capture Atlantic sturgeon. Large-mesh gillnets are required to fish seasonally using tie-downs as part of the Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan. This study looked at the effects of tie-downs (control: 12 meshes x 30.5 cm stretch mesh with four mesh tie-downs, experimental: same, no tie-downs) on Atlantic stureon and marine mammal bycatch. Atlantic sturgeon bycatch (CPUE) did not differ between gillnet configurations.The experimental gillnets without tie-downs significantly decreased monkfish landings and resulted in common dolphin mortalities.