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Estimating purse seine volume during capture: implications for fish densities and survival of released unwanted catches

Estimating purse seine volume during capture: implications for fish densities and survival of released unwanted catches

Category
Journal publication
Abstract
High fish densities negatively impact catch welfare and the survival of unwanted catches released from purse seines. To avoid overcrowding fish before being released, regulations have been implemented in the Northeast Atlantic mackerel and herring fisheries that limit the proportion of the seine that can be retrieved before catches are released. However, it is yet unknown how seine volume, and thus fish density, relates to proportion of seine retrieved. In this study, we have estimated the in-water volume of purse seines used in the Norwegian mackerel and herring fisheries as a function of proportion seine hauled and seine size. Purse seine geometry was monitored with multibeam sonar at sea and a log-linear mixed effects model was applied to the estimated seine volumes. The results indicate a 33-fold decrease in contained volume from 10 to 80% seine hauled and a threefold difference in volume between the largest and smallest measured seines. Fish densities in the seine were predicted to vary greatly depending on seine and catch size and under some conditions exceed safe crowding levels before the catch release limit is reached. This study questions the rationale of having the same catch release limit for all seine and catch sizes.
Client
  • Norges forskningsråd / 243885
Language
English
Author(s)
  • Tenningen Maria
  • Pobitzer Armin
  • Handegard Nils Olav
  • de Jong Karen
Affiliation
  • Institute of Marine Research
  • SINTEF Group Head Office
  • Institute of Marine Research
Year
2019
Published in
ICES Journal of Marine Science
ISSN
1054-3139