Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8308
Title: Evaluation of a sorting grid bycatch reduction device for the selective flatfish bottom trawl in the U.S. West Coast fishery
Author: Mark J.M. Lomeli, W. Waldo Wakefield
Publication Year: 2016
Journal: Fisheries Research
Keywords: bycatch reduction device, selective flatfish trawl, recapture net, flatfishes, roundfishes, Pacific halibut,
Abstract:

 The U.S. West Coast limited entry groundfish trawl fishery is managed under an individual fishing quota
program. For many fishermen targeting flatfishes in this fishery, catches of rockfishes (Sebastes spp.),
sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria), and Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) can be a concern because
quota is limited relative to flatfish quotas. Thus, approaches to minimize bycatch of limiting species
are important to the economic viability of the fishery. In this study, we examined the size-selection
characteristics of a flexible sorting grid bycatch reduction device (designed to retain flatfishes while
reducing catches of rockfishes, sablefish, and Pacific halibut) using a recapture net. The mean codend
retention of target flatfishes (five species evaluated) ranged from 68.1% to 92.3%. Combined, the mean
flatfish retention was 85.6%. Codend catches of shelf rockfishes, slope rockfishes, sablefish, and Pacific
halibut were reduced by 80.3%, 64.0%, 97.0%, and 90.3% by weight, respectively. Significant differences in
selectivity parameters between flatfishes, rockfishes, sablefish, and Pacific halibut were observed. Over
fishing grounds where fishermen need a more selective trawl to harvest flatfishes, the experimental gear
tested could provide fishermen a technique to reduce catches of non-target species.

Theme: Sustainable, safe and secure seafood for healthy populations and vibrant communities
Foci: Support effective catch share management and evaluation
Official Citation:

Lomeli, M.J.M, and W.W. Wakefield. 2016. Evaluation of a sorting grid bycatch reduction device for the selective flatfish bottom trawl in the U.S. West Coast fishery. Fisheries Research 183:294–303