The impact of turtle excluder devices and bycatch reduction devices on diverse tropical marine communities in Australia's northern prawn trawl fishery

Brewer, D., Heales, D., Milton, D., Dell, Q., Fry, G., Venables, B., Jones, P.
Journal/Publisher Name
Fisheries Research
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+61 7 3826 7200

The catches from five experimental trawls (TED + fisheye BRD, upward facing TED, downward facing TED, bigeye BRD and square-mesh panel BRD) were compared to those of the standard twin Florida Flyer prawn trawl. Nets with a combination of a TED and BRD reduced sea turtle catches by 100%, large sponges by 85.3%, sharks by 36.3% and rays by 17.7% and reduced the proportion of soft and damaged prawns by 41.6% and catches of tiger prawns by 6.5%. Upward and downward facing TED's reduced sea turtle bycatch by 99% and 100% respectively and large sponges by 81.6% and 95.9% respectively. Catches of tiger prawns were reduced by 6.3% with the use of TED's. The BRD's had little impact on the catch of either the target or bycatch species.