A simple technical measure to reduce bycatch and discard of skates and sharks in mixed-species bottom-trawl fisheries

Kynoch, R.J., Fryer, R.J. and Neat, F.C.
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ICES Journal of Marine Science
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A study was conducted to determine the impact of removing the 'tickler' from in front of groundgear of trawls. The 'tickler' is a length of chain placed in front of the groundgear of trawl gear, which is supposed to increase catches of sharks and rays. Tests were conducted where the 'tickler' was removed and secondary nets (groundgear bags) were placed behind the groundgear to determine the amount and species of fish that escaped capture. The results indicated that removing the 'tickler' from in front of the groundgear reduced the capture of skates and sharks. Therefore, prohibiting the use of 'tickler' chains in critical habitats for skates and sharks could be a beneficial management tool.