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Tropical prawn trawl bycatch of fish and seasnakes reduced by Yarrow Fisheye Bycatch Reduction Device

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Heales, DS and Gregor, R and Wakeford, J and Wang, YG and Yarrowe, J and Milton, DA (2008) Tropical prawn trawl bycatch of fish and seasnakes reduced by Yarrow Fisheye Bycatch Reduction Device. Fisheries Research, 89. 76 -83.

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Abstract

Reducing unwanted trawl bycatch is actively encouraged in Australia, particularly in prawn trawl fisheries. We tested the performance of a Bycatch Reduction Device, the Yarrow Fisheye, during two periods of commercial fishing operations in Australia’s Northern Prawn Fishery, by comparing the catches of paired treatment and control nets. We compared the catch weights of the small fish and invertebrate bycatch, and the commercially important tiger prawns, from 42 trawls in 2002. The Yarrow Fisheye reduced the weight of small bycatch by a mean of 22.7%, with no loss of tiger prawn. We also compared the numbers of seasnakes caught in 41 and 72 trawls during the spring trawling seasons of 2004 and 2005, respectively. The Yarrow Fisheye reduced the catches by a mean of 43.3%. Flume-tank tests of the Yarrow Fisheye showed that this device created a slow water-flow region extending over 2m downstream from its position in the net, and close to where the catch accumulates. Finfish and seasnakes may be exploiting this slow water-flow region to escape via the eye. Although the reductions in fish and seasnake bycatch were excellent, we think they could be further improved by relating differences in fisheye position and localised water displacements, to design and rigging changes.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Prawn trawl; Bycatch; Seasnakes; Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs); Fisheye; Flume tank
Journal or Publication Title: Fisheries Research
Page Range: 76 -83
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2007.09.002
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2007 00:29
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:24
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/2372
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