OJMS  Vol.1 No.3 , October 2011
An Evaluation of the Selectivity Characteristics of Different Juvenile Fish Escape Panel Designs for the Demersal Trap Fishery of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
ABSTRACT
The selectivity characteristics of 4 juvenile fish escape panel designs and their utility for the regulation of a multi-species demersal trap fishery were evaluated using a suite of objective socio-economic and biological criteria. The panel designs consisted of a control (type A) which had a hexagonal mesh size which was the same as that of the body of the trap (3.5 cm), a rectangular mesh (type B) which was representative of the current regulation (5.0 x 7.6 cm) and 2 escape panels with square meshes of 7.5 x 7.5 cm (type C) and 10.0 x 10.0 cm (type D). The results demonstrated that there was only a limited reduction in the proportion of juvenile fish and by-catch retained for the existing juvenile escape panel design (type B). Furthermore, as the selectivity characteristics for the key species (Epinephelus coioides and Diagramma pictum) were similar to the control type, the predicted increases in yields, revenues and spawning stock biomass were small by comparison. The escape panel with the largest mesh size (type D) retained the least un-utilized and discarded by-catch. Whilst simulations predicted the highest spawner biomass per recruit, long term yields and revenues for the key species, its use was associated with a dramatic short-term decline in revenues which were 23.3% of the value of the control type. Traps fitted with the type C which had a square mesh of 7.5 x 7.5 cm had the lowest juvenile retention and the highest overall score for all the assessment criteria combined. The study provides an empirical basis for gear regulations for the demersal trap fishery of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the wider Arabian Gulf region.

Cite this paper
E. Grandcourt, T. Al Abdessalaam, S. Hartmann, A. Al Shamsi and F. Francis, "An Evaluation of the Selectivity Characteristics of Different Juvenile Fish Escape Panel Designs for the Demersal Trap Fishery of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates," Open Journal of Marine Science, Vol. 1 No. 3, 2011, pp. 98-107. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2011.13010.
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