Sustainable Management of Bycatch in Latin America and Caribbean Trawl Fisheries (REBYC-II LAC)

Second biotechnological evaluation campaign of bottom trawling gear in the shrimp fishery of Sonda de Campeche, Mexico

One of the objectives of the project: Sustainable Management of Bycatch in Latin America and Caribbean Trawl Fisheries (REBYC-II LAC), within its Component 2 (Strengthening the management of bycatch and responsible trawling practices within a framework of the EAF), is the development of a technological package of fishing equipment, whose objectives are: the best operational performance, the reduction of the bycatch, greater selectivity in the sizes and improvement in the quality of the shrimp, as well as the decrease in fuel consumption, improving the cost-benefit ration and reducing the emissions of gases into the atmosphere. The study is developed with the collaboration of INAPESCA, FAO, the “System-Product of shrimp of the state of Campeche A.C.” and the permit holders owners of the vessels.

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Placement of the Turtle Excluder Device

The project includes two trawling net designs, which are compared with traditional nets.  These will be tested in three research campaigns, on two commercial fishing boats. The equipment includes devices that exclude fish such as the fisheye and the double headline. For monitoring, electronic equipment is used to measure the flow of fuel, the opening of the nets, and the tension of the cables, among other parameters.

Between March and April 2018, the first experimental campaign was carried out. The result in the performance of shrimp catch with experimental nets was good, since it was very similar to the traditional ones. However, the relationship shrimp:bycatch was 1:2, which turned out to be unfavorable, since the relationship in the traditional nets was basically 1:1.

Based on the experiences learned in the first cruise, for the preparation of the second campaign, adjustments were made to the equipment. These consisted, among others, in the reduction of the height of the lateral covers to reduce the vertical opening of the nets, the expansion of the cylinder of the codend extension and the innovation of the skids, adapted to the type of the steel doors. The second experimental campaign began on July 25, in two ships: the fishing vessel “Don Lau II” with experimental equipment and the vessel “Campeche I” with traditional equipment.

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Analysis of the discarded bycatch