Developing a full-scale shaking codend to reduce the capture of small fish

Nguyen, Vang Y. and Bayse, Shannon M. and Cheng, Zhaohai and Winger, Paul D. and Delouche, Harold and Kebede,, Gebremeskel Eshetu and Legge, George (2023) Developing a full-scale shaking codend to reduce the capture of small fish. PLoS ONE. ISSN 1932-6203

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To reduce the retention of undersized fish in the redfish (Sebastes spp.) trawl fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, we developed a full-scale shaking codend. The shaking codend uses a mechanical stimulating device, an elliptical-shaped piece of polyvinyl chloride canvas, attached to the posterior of a T90 codend that generates a lifting force with respect to drag, causing a ‘shaking motion’. A shaking codend could stimulate fish movement and increase contact probability, both of which could increase the escape of small redfish out of a codend, especially when combined with a codend that maintains mesh openings. The movement and fishing characteristics of a shaking codend (T90 codend with canvas) relative to a T90 codend (without canvas) were tested in a flume tank and field experiment. In the flume tank test, the shaking codend had a peak-to-peak amplitude (i.e. the distance the codend moves from the lowest to highest depth) > 24 cm higher than the T90 codend for each velocity tested (1.0–1.8 kt), higher amplitude ratio, and a higher period (1 revolution) that gradually decreased with increasing velocity. The total acceleration (m s2 ) and drag forces (kgf) estimated for the shaking codend were significantly higher than the T90 codend across all flow velocities. The results from the field experiment, considered preliminary due to a small sample size, showed that the shaking codend significantly reduced the capture of small redfish (< 21 cm) and the best fit model did not need to consider contact probability which was necessary for the non-shaking T90 codend. Overall, the dynamics of the movement of the codend was described and could be potentially used as an effective technique to reduce the catch of small redfish, and perhaps in other trawl fisheries to reduce the catch of small fish.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 16049
Department(s): Marine Institute > Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources
Marine Institute
Date: 23 January 2023
Date Type: Publication
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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