Improving release efficiency of cod (Gadus morhua) and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) in the Barents Sea demersal trawl fishery by stimulating escape behaviour.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 2017, 00 (000), 1-15. 10.1139/cjfas-2017-0002
We tested the ability of stimulators to improve the release efficiency of cod (Gadus morhua) and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) through the meshes of a square mesh section installed in a trawl. The section was tested in three different configurations: without any stimulation device, with a mechanical stimulation device, and with LED light stimulation devices. We analysed and compared the behaviour of cod and haddock in all three configurations based on release results and underwater recordings. Parallel to the fishing trials, we carried out fall-through tests to determine the upper physical size limits for cod and haddock to be able to escape through the square meshes in the section. This enabled us to infer whether lack of release efficiency was due to fish behaviour or release potential of the square meshes in the section. The results showed that the escape behaviour of haddock can be triggered by mechanical stimulation. In contrast, cod did not react significantly to the presence of mechanical stimulators. LED light stimulation had some effect on the behaviour of haddock, but not on cod.