A species separation grid was tested for a squid trawl to reduce finfish bycatch in the Nantucket Sound longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii) fishery in southern New England, USA. The experimental trawl with a grid significantly reduces bycatch of summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) (76.4%, p < .001), black sea bass (Centropristis striata) (71.7%, p = .001), smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis) (86.0%, p < .001), and total bycatch (69.2%, p < .001) when compared to a conventional trawl. The catch rate of scup (Stenotomus chrysops) is 40.2% less than in the experimental trawl, but this difference is not statistically significant (p = .258). However, the experimental trawl also reduces targeted squid capture by 47.5% (p < .001), which is commercially unacceptable. Length analysis indicates no size effect on the retention for squid between the trawl with a grid (experimental) and the one without a grid (control), but the experimental trawl significantly reduces larger scup (>27 cm FL) and larger black sea bass (>37 cm TL), and all summer flounder size-classes. Therefore, this grid design may not be a suitable bycatch reduction device for the Nantucket Sound squid trawl fishery, and further work is needed to understand squid behavior within a trawl to develop a successful bycatch reduction strategy for the New England longfin inshore squid fishery.
Design and test of a grid to reduce bycatch in the longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii) trawl fishery. Journal of Applied Ichthyology [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jai.13381/abstract.
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Type: Journal Article