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Understanding limits to cod and haddock separation using size selectivity in a multispecies trawl fishery: an application of FISHSELECT

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This investigation demonstrates how a multidisciplinary approach based on the FISHSELECT framework, sea trial data, underwater recordings, and laboratory investigations of netting can be applied to size selectivity studies and related management issues. We studied the morphological characteristics of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) in the Barents Sea bottom trawl fishery. The differences between the L 50 values (i.e., the size at which a fish has a 50% chance of being retained) that were recorded for the two species during sea trials can to a large extent be explained by the morphological differences between them. Because of these morphological differences, L 50 is always larger for cod than for haddock with the grid and codend setup commonly used in the area. While catch separation of cod and haddock is a management objective in the Barents Sea, we demonstrate that the morphological differences between the species and the grid and codend setup in force today limit achievable differences in L 50 to 5.5 cm. Furthermore, we show that for this fishery, the scope for increasing L 50 differences between these species by changing the mesh shape configuration of the codend is minimal.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Technical University of Denmark (DTU), North Sea Centre, DK-9850 Hirtshals, Denmark. 2: GenØk - Centre for Biosafety, Forskningsparken in Breivika, N-9294 Tromsø, Norway. 3: University of Tromsø, Breivika, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway.

Publication date: May 10, 2011

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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