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Improving Catch Utilization in the U.S. West Coast Groundfish Bottom Trawl Fishery: an Evaluation of T90‐Mesh and Diamond‐Mesh Cod Ends
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    Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 9(1), 149–160
Filetype[PDF-1.20 MB]

  • Description:
    The limited‐entry bottom trawl fishery for groundfish along the U.S. West Coast operates under a catch share program, which is implemented with the intention of improving the economic efficiency of the fishery, maximizing fishing opportunities, and minimizing bycatch. However, stocks with low harvest guidelines have limited the ability of fishermen to maximize their catch of more abundant stocks. Size‐selection characteristics of 114‐mm and 140‐mm T90‐mesh cod ends and the traditional 114‐mm diamond‐mesh cod end were examined by using the covered cod end method. Selection curves and mean L50 values (length at which fish had a 50% probability of being retained) were estimated for two flatfish species (Rex Sole Glyptocephalus zachirus and Dover Sole Microstomus pacificus) and two roundfish species (Shortspine Thornyhead Sebastolobus alascanus and Sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria). Mean L50 values were smaller for flatfishes but larger for roundfishes in the 114‐mm T90 cod end compared to the diamond‐mesh cod end. For Rex Sole, Dover Sole, and Shortspine Thornyheads, selectivities of the 140‐mm T90 cod end were significantly different from those of the other cod ends; the 140‐mm T90 cod end was most effective at reducing the catch of smaller‐sized fishes but with a considerable loss of larger‐sized marketable fishes. Findings suggest that T90 cod ends have potential to improve catch utilization in this multispecies fishery.
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