Comparing the catch composition, profitability and discard survival from different trammel net designs targeting common spiny lobster ( Palinurus elephas ) in a Mediterranean fishery
Gil, Maria del Mar
Grau, Antoni Maria
- Publisher: PeerJ Inc.
(issn: 2167-8359, eissn: 2167-8359)
Catch composition | Spiny lobster | Marine Biology | Trammel net | Discard | Revenue | R | Discard survival | Environmental Impacts | Medicine | Guarding net | Aquaculture, Fisheries and Fish Science
In the Balearic Islands, different trammel net designs have been adopted to promote fisheries sustainability and reduce discards. Here, we compare the catch performance of three trammel net designs targeting the spiny lobster Palinurus elephas in terms of biomass, species composition and revenue from commercial catches and discards. Designs differ in the netting fiber type (standard polyfilament, PMF, or a new polyethylene multi-monofilament, MMF) and the use of a guarding net or greca, a mesh piece intended to reduce discards. Catches were surveyed by an on-board observer from 1,550 netting walls corresponding to 70 nets. The number of marketable species captured indicated that the lobster trammel net fishery has multiple targets, which contribute significantly to the total revenue. The discarded species ranged from habitat-forming species to elasmobranches, but the magnitude of gear-habitat interactions on the long term dynamics of benthos remains unclear. No relevant differences in revenue and weight of discards were detected after Bayesian analyses. However, the species composition of discards was different when using greca. Interestingly, high immediate survival was found for discarded undersized lobsters, while a seven day survival assessment, using captive observation, gave an asymptotic estimate of survival probability as 0.64 (95% CI [0.54–0.76]). Therefore, it is recommended that it would be beneficial for this stock if an exemption from the EU landing obligation regulation was sought for undersized lobsters in the Balearic trammel net fishery.