The proposed project is an extension of the research project "Improved selectivity of fishing Gears in the North Sea Fishery - Beam Trawling" started under the FAR programme (Contract No TE.2.554). The FAR project has proved that it is possible to release roundfish species from a beam trawl with minimal influence on the flatfish catches. Species selective trawls are important to reduce catches of unwanted by-catch or the by-catch of species for which the fishing vessel has no quota allocation. The objectives of the present proposal are to optimise the gears developed under the FAR programme, to assess the effects on profitability and to win the industry's acceptance. The devices capable of improving roundfish selectivity are square mesh top panels, largely reduced top panels, square mesh windows and very large diamond or hexagonal meshes in the top of the trawl. The optimal size and shape of the escape devices and the optimal mesh sizes will be determined. Major modifications will be tested in mode form in a Flume Tank and the performance of the full scale experimental gears will be evaluated by full scale sea trials. The new designs will be adapted to suit the different beam trawl fisheries in the Community waters. These are classified as sub-fleets and are characterised by vessel and gear parameters and/or fishing ground. Approximately 17 sub-fleets are envisaged. For each fleet the catch of the selective gears will be compared to the catch of the traditional gears during an experimental voyage on board a representative commercial vessel. The length distribution for all roundfish species and for the target flatfish species will be determined for both the standard and the experimental gears. The commercial implications of replacing the traditional gears by the modified gears will be studied. To prepare the introduction of the new gear the industry will be involved in all phases of the project.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1970 AB Ijmuiden
HU3 4QE Hull