Assessment of an environmentally friendly, semi-pelagic fish trawl

Brewer, D., Eayrs, S., Mounsey, R., & Wang, Y-G. (1996) Assessment of an environmentally friendly, semi-pelagic fish trawl. Fisheries Research, 26(3-4), pp. 225-237.

View at publisher


Minimising catches of non-target animals in a trawl fishery reduces the impact on a marine community and may help to sustain the fishery resource in the long term. Hence the desirability for trawls that minimise impacts on non-target species while maintaining catches of target species. This study resulted from a need to further develop easily handled, semi-pelagic style trawls for Australia's Northern Fish Trawl Fishery. In November 1993 we compared catches from three differently rigged versions of a demersal wing trawl: one fished in a standard demersal configuration with its footrope on the sea bed, and two fished semi-pelagically, with their footropes raised to either 0.4-0.5 or 0.8-0.9 m above the sea bed. At two sites in the northeast Gulf of Carpentaria, each trawl type was used on the same combination of sites, grids within sites and times of day. Catches of the main target species (Lutjanus malabaricus and Lutjanus erythropterus) by the three trawl types were not significantly different. However, the mean catches of both these species and of other commercially important snappers, were highest in the semi-pelagic trawl raised 0.4-0.5 m above the sea bed. This increase could be due to a larger trawl spread or to the whole rig fishing higher in the water column. Of the 107 species of fishes analysed, 61 were caught in greater abundance in the demersal trawl. Seven species were caught more effectively in the semi-pelagic trawl with the footrope 0.4-0.5 m above the substrate; none was caught most effectively with the footrope set at 0.8-0.9 m. Epibenthic byproduct species (squid and Thenus orientalis), fish bycatch, sponges and other epibenthic invertebrates were also caught in lower numbers in the semi-pelagic trawls. The semi-pelagic trawls convincingly caught less (in both numbers and biomass) of the unwanted species which are normally discarded. Semi-pelagic fish trawls of the types tested would be suitable for Australia's Northern Fish Trawl Fishery and probably other demersal trawl fisheries that would benefit from the conservation of non-target epibenthic communities.

Impact and interest:

14 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
14 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 90626
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: ISI Document Delivery No.: UL168
Times Cited: 12
Cited Reference Count: 12
Brewer, D Eayrs, S Mounsey, R Wang, YG
Elsevier science bv
Keywords: semi-pelagic trawl, bycatch, environmentally friendly
DOI: 10.1016/0165-7836(95)00433-5
ISSN: 0165-7836
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1996 Elsevier Science B.V.
Deposited On: 24 Nov 2015 04:03
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2015 04:03

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page