A recent report into the Effects of Codend Mesh Size and Twine Number on Nephrops Selectivity has come up with some amazing conclusions :
- The selectivity of Nephrops improves as the mesh size increases from 80 to 100 and to 120 mm.
- Similarly, more juvenile whiting and haddock also escape as the mesh size increases.
- Greater selectivity of Nephrops in towed fishing gears could be useful in reducing discards.
And further trials are planned for this year to investigate the effect that other factors such as lifting bags and chafers (which are used to protect the codend) have on the escape of Nephrops and young fish from Nephrops trawls.
Well who’d have thought it – small mesh sizes indiscriminately kill juvenile fish !
These trials are funded by the Scottish Government through the Fishing Industry Science Alliance (FISA) which combines input from commercial fishermen and scientists – it’s just a pity, that as usual, they don’t involve sea anglers who have been well aware of the issues especially in the Clyde and near-shore fisheries) and their causes for years.