Evaluation of the impact of electro shrimp trawl fishery

Marieke Desender, Hans Polet, Koen Chiers, Maarten Soetaert, Annemie Decostere

    Onderzoeksoutput: Hoofdstuk in Boek/Rapport/CongresprocedureC3: Congres abstractpeer review


    Brown shrimps are caught with bottom trawls, as is the case for 90% of all demersal fish, shell and
    crustacean landings in the North Sea. These demersal trawl fisheries are known to produce large
    amounts of discards and to disturb the seafloor habitat of benthic organisms. This results in severe
    ecosystem damage and the indirect reduction of quota in other fisheries. Furthermore fuel
    consumption is high. In order to increase the sustainability of these fisheries and consider
    ecological certification,technical adaptations are necessary to avoid these problems. Electric pulse
    fields have proven to be the most promising option for alternative stimulation in fishing gear,
    replacing the mechanical stimulation.
    Since 2008 the Belgian ILVO research institute has been successfully testing their Hovercran electro
    pulse trawl for brown shrimp fishery. In this device the heavy bobbin rope is replaced by light
    weight electrodes creating a low-intensity electric fieldwhich selectively induces a startle response in
    the shrimps. Other benthic organisms are left untouched and can escape underneath the hovering
    trawl that collects the jumping shrimpswithout disturbing the seabed (Verschueren et al., 2009).
    Nevertheless, the effects of suchlike electric pulse field on marine organisms are largely unknown
    (Snyder, 2003). Preliminary exposure and survival experimentsindicated that the use of this low
    frequency pulse has no immediate significant effects on most adult fish and invertebrate species
    (Vercauteren et al., 2010). However, electro sensitive fish, like sharks and rays, and polychaete
    species, which have a key role in the benthic ecosystem, were not included in these studies.
    Additionally, the influence on different life stages has never before been investigated. Electrofishing
    over active spawning grounds may affect survival of embryos, larvae or juveniles if exposed during
    their more sensitive stages (Bohl et al., 2010). Further research to fill these gaps in knowledge
    hence is crucial to revalue pulse fishing and to provide information enabling to lift the standing ban
    on electric fishing in the EU.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TitelBook of abstracts - VLIZ Young Scientists' Day
    EditorsJan Mees, Jan Seys
    Aantal pagina’s1
    VolumeVLIZ Special Publication
    UitgeverijFlanders Marine Institute
    ISBN van geprinte versieISSN (1377-0950)
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 24-feb.-2012
    Evenement12th VLIZ Young Marine Scientists' Day (2012) - Brugge, België
    Duur: 24-feb.-201224-feb.-2012

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