First experience to evaluate a selective fishing gear for shrimp Pleoticus muelleri artisanal fishing in the Uruguayan atlantic coast
Keywords:Trawl net, selectivity, biodiversity, shrimp, Uruguay
The low selectivity of the bottom trawl nets used in the shrimp fishery and the high fraction of organisms caught incidentally are a direct threat to marine biodiversity. In this work the first experience to evaluate selectivity of a bottom trawl net used to catch red shrimp Pleoticus muelleri in the artisanal fishery of Punta del Diablo (Rocha, República Oriental del Uruguay) modified with a fish excluder device (DEP) is reported. The DEP was built on a participative basis by technicians of the National Directorate of Aquatic Resources (DINARA), biologists and artisanal fishermen. To facilitate construction, light, low cost materials available in local markets were used. The performance of the device was assessed in the 2009-2010 fishing season on 95 trawls, 32 of which were performed with the DEP installed. In the total biomass caught with nets with and without the device no significant differences were observed. Nevertheless, when using the device, the shrimp escape fraction was, approximately 30%, and that of fish near 70%, with larger fractions for batoids (92%) and lower for bony fishes (59%). Although the DEP is efficient as regards the escape of fish, fishermen and technicians evaluated shrimp escape fraction as high. To reduce escapement level continuing with the monitoring programme and changes in the configuration of the device (rake of the grid or size and color of the internal selection mesh) are to be considered. The development of selective fishing gears in cooperation with fishermen, well aware of local operations and idiosyncrasy is essential to encourage use and move towards responsible fisheries.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Ángel Segura, Alvar Carranza, Yamandú Marín, Julio Chocca, Bernardo González, Gastón Beathyate, Fabrizio Scarabino
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