SALTONSTALL KENNEDY GRANT PROGRAM
Flatfish Size Separation in Trawl Gear....
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GRANT NUMBER:  NA66FD0041           NMFS NUMBER:  95-AKR-051

REPORT TITLE:  Flatfish Size Separation in Trawl Gear: Technique to Increase By-Catch Reduction and Under-Utilized Species Development

AUTHOR:  C. G. Bublitz

PUBLISH DATE:  1998

AVAILABLE FROM:  National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Region, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.  TELEPHONE:  (907) 586-7280

 ABSTRACT

The goals and objectives of this project were to evaluate the use of separator panels as a technique to reduce the capture of small flatfish. Two separator panels were placed one and two meters above the belly of the net just aft of the footrope with each separator panel leading to a codend. The catch from each separator panel codend and the main codend were sampled for species composition and length frequency. Results indicate that species specific vertical and horizontal size separation occurs during capture.  The purpose of this project was to initiate work on the use of separator panels as a technique to reduce by-catch in flatfish fisheries. The overall goals of this project were to determine the applicability of separator panels in reducing undersized flatfish discards, separating flatfish species, and improving halibut release in direct cod trawl fisheries. Particular items to be addressed were to evaluate rock sole size separation and separation of arrowtooth flounder and Pacific halibut. The specific objectives which were addressed to accomplish this goal were: (1) modify a commercial groundfish trawl by incorporating two separator panels attached to individual codends; (2) determine total catch, species composition, length frequency, and rock sole sex ratios; and (3) evaluate escape and retention by species in each separator panel and the main codend.

 
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