Mitigating bycatch of freshwater turtles in passively fished fyke nets through the use of exclusion and escape modifications


Larocque, S.M., Cooke, S.J. and Blouin-Demers, G.



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Fisheries Research

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Two types of excluder devices, one with exclusion bars and one with exclusion rings, were fitted at the entrance to fyke nets to determine their efficiency in reducing turtle bycatch.  In addition, the efficacy of an escape chimney, compared to a net with a large hole, was tested.  The exclusion device with bars across the net significantly reduced turtle catch rates.  Fish catch rates were not impacted by either excluder device.  All turtles were able to escape through the escape chimney, while the majority of fish (88%) were retained.  In comparison, 60% of turtles and 77% of fish were able to escape through the a large hole in the net.  The escape chimney was therefore the most effective at avoiding turtle bycatch while retaining fish.