Selective flatfish seine: A knee-high demersal seine barely catches cod
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionICES Journal of Marine Science. 2019, 76 (4), 1200-1208. 10.1093/icesjms/fsy200
Norwegian coastal cod (Gadus morhua) protection restricts the use of active fishing gears. Demersal seines, acknowledged as being efficient for targeting flatfish, are therefore largely excluded from the fjords. To exploit plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), a species-selective gear that avoids catching cod is needed. We therefore designed a low-rise demersal seine with a 0.6 m vertical opening and tested it on fishing grounds in Lofoten (Northern Norway), comparing it with a conventional seine that had a vertical opening of ∼3.5 m, and fished both during the day and at night. Six to nine hauls were taken with each of the four gear/time-of-day categories (32 hauls in total). The low-rise seine caught no fewer plaice during day-time fishing, but less at night. Cod and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) catches were reduced by 94% and 98%, respectively, while catches of sole (Solea solea) increased with the low-rise seine. No catch differences were found for halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), common dab (Limanda limanda), or monkfish (Lophius piscatorius). The low-rise seine therefore enables targeting flatfish while avoiding gadoid catches, although loss of plaice during night-time fishing is to be expected.