Fishing method and species:
Trammel nets. Mesh size 120-160 mm (for Spiny Lobster), 67 mm (Cuttlefish) and 50 mm (Red Mullet)
What is the discards problem?
All species are affected by a lack of qualitative data on catches and by-catch, with the by-catch consisting mostly of undersized fish. In the Lobster fisheries the by-catch cannot be used commercially as it is usually in poor condition owing to the long ‘soaking time’ (six hours) when the nets are set. The by-catch here is mainly invertebrates, along with Maerl and Posidonia leaves.
What activities did the MINOUW project carry out?
- Spiny Lobster: comparing the catch and discards of monofilament (new) and poly-filament (traditional) trammel nets.
- Spiny Lobster: comparing fishing with trammel nets with panels incorporating “greca” and without (traditional ones)
- Cuttlefish: conventional gear (67mm mesh size) will be compared with alternative gear of the same design and the same type of synthetic fiber but with 80mm mesh size.
- Cuttlefish: conventional gear (50mm mesh size) will be compared with gill-net of 50mm mesh size.
What outcomes were expected?
- To understand what factors lead to discarding practices, and how new technologies (modifications to nets) and changes in fishing practices can mitigate the problem of discards.
The gear modifications (PMF, MMF, MMF+greca and mesh sizes) tested thus far have neither revealed clear differences in wanted or unwanted catches nor clear differences in economic revenues. While the results showed no statistical differences there were however, some indications that the addition of the “greca” or guarding net might have the potential in reducing the unwanted catch fraction. More research will be needed to adjust its design and deployment to increase its effectiveness in reducing the unwanted catch fraction.