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Eryaşar A.R. 2018. Effects of square-mesh codend on the benthic by-catch for the beam trawl fisheries of veined rapa whelk, Rapana venosa. Acta Ichthyol. Piscat. 48 (2): 173–181.

Background. The beam trawl fisheries of veined rapa whelk, Rapana venosa (Valenciennes, 1846), cause small benthic organisms to be captured and also damage the other species living on the seafloor. To solve this problem, a proper modification that minimise the by-catch should be designed and put into practice. This study aims to compare 72 mm commercial diamond-mesh codend with 72 mm square-mesh codend to reduce the benthic by-catch in this fishery.

Materials and methods. Totally 15 hauls were carried out in south-eastern Black Sea Region within 10–14 August 2017. A commercial diamond-mesh and square-mesh beam trawls were towed simultaneously behind a commercial fishing vessel to compare the by-catch compositions. Paired t-test was used to compare the catch amount of two codends based on species. GLMM (Generalised Linear Mixed Models) was used to compare the length of captured veined rapa whelk, mussel, and crab species.

Results. There was a 77-percentage-point reduction in the mean number of the captured individuals as by-catch in square-mesh codend when compared with commercial diamond-mesh codend and this difference was found statistically significant (P < 0.05). A total of 17 species was captured as by-catch in both codends. Comparing to diamond-mesh codend, the catch amount of the 13 by-catch species had decreased in square-mesh codend.

Conclusion. In conclusion, the square-mesh codend was found successful in decreasing the by-catch amount of many benthic species except for flatfish species and large crabs. In addition to this, the veined rapa whelk amount fell by half and this means a 25-percentage-point profit decrease for fishermen.

Keywords: beam trawl, veined rapa whelk, Mollusca, benthic by-catch, square-mesh codend



DOI: 10.3750/AIEP/02359

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