Mortality and injuries of haddock, cod and saithe escaping through codend meshes and sorting grids
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Mortalities and injuries of the gadoids haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus L.), cod (Gadus morhua L.) and saithe (Pollachius virens L.) were studied after codend and grid escapement in two full scale trials in 2000 and 2001 in the Barents Sea. The escaped fish were sampled using small meshed cages. Trawl caught controls were sampled by removing the cod end and attaching the cage directly to the cod end extension. In the 2001 trial, control fish were sampled in fish traps in addition. Acoustic closing and releasing devices were used to time the sampling. Survival rates of cod and saithe escaping through codend and sorting grid were 100%. Mortality of haddock were 26.2 to 50.4% (codend escapees), 1.6 to 20% (grid escapees), 4.1 to 26.5% (trawl caught controls) and 0% (trap caught controls). The haddock mortality and injuries decreased with increasing fish length in all groups, with a mortality peek of the mesh escapees with girth approximately the mesh size circumference. Cod and saithe had significantly less skin and fin injuries than haddock, and in general, frequency of skin injuries increased towards the tail. Grid escaped gadoids had significantly less skin and fin damages than the mesh and control groups.
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