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Revealing the by-catch reducing potential of pulse trawls in the brown shrimp (Crangon crangon) fishery
Verschueren, B.; Lenoir, H.; Soetaert, M.; Polet, H. (2019). Revealing the by-catch reducing potential of pulse trawls in the brown shrimp (Crangon crangon) fishery. Fish. Res. 211: 191-203.
In: Fisheries Research. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0165-7836; e-ISSN 1872-6763, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Electrofishing; Electrofishing; Pulse trawling; Brown shrimp; By-catch reduction; Selectivity

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    Shrimp fisheries worldwide are characterized by considerable high by-catch rates. A promising innovation implemented to reduce the environmental impact in the brown shrimp (Crangon crangon) fishery is the use of electric pulses to stimulate shrimp. In recent years, several of these so called pulse trawls have been used in the North Sea, but limited catch comparisons have been conducted so far. This study is the first in which a direct catch comparison between a traditional beam trawl and a pulse trawl is executed over an entire fishing season. The results illustrate that pulse stimulation enables a discard reduction of small shrimp of up to 35% and a reduction of benthos and fish discards of up to 76%, with no loss of commercial shrimp. In addition, contact of the groundgear with the seabed is reduced by using a straight bobbin rope with less bobbins. Therefore, on conditions of associated management and regulation, pulse trawling is probably the best available alternative to the existing trawl gear to achieve a shrimp fishery with reduced by-catch rates.

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