Damage to benthic invertebrates in the Patagonian scallop fishery bycatch
Keywords:Patagonian scallop, Zygochlamys patagonica, bycatch, damage, benthos, factory vessels, Patagonian scallop fishery
Patagonian scallop (Zygochlamys patagonica) fishery catch is mechanically processed on board where non target species and scallops that do not reach the commercial size are separated with metal drums and discarded to sea. The aim of this study was to analyze the direct damage produced to the main bycatch invertebrate species, distinguishing between that caused by trawling and the one generated by the on board selection process. The subsamples were collected during the 2012 assessment cruises carried out on board of commercial vessels equipped with different selection process systems. Sea urchin Sterechinus agassizii, organism with a very fragile body structure, was the most affected species. It was observed that many benthic invertebrates are retained by the on board selection process thus passing to the final stage, reason for which they do not survive. An additional discard point in one of the vessels allows most species to return to sea with a damage similar than when they arrived to deck. The level of damage varied among species and, even within the same species, according to size. The level of damage, specific to each species, is related to the individuals morphology.
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Copyright (c) 2017 Mariana Escolar, Matías Schwartz, Ángel Marecos, Susana Herrera, Ronaldo Díaz, Laura Schejter, Silvana Campodónico, Claudia Bremec
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