SURVIVAL ESTIMATES OF BYCATCH INDIVIDUALS DISCARDED FROM BIVALVE DREDGES

Francisco Leitão, Pedro Range, Miguel Baptista Gaspar
2014 Brazilian Journal of Oceanography  
The fate of released bycatch is an issue of great interest for fisheries research and management. Survival experiments were carried out to assess the survival capacity of animals damaged and discarded during clam dredging operations. Three common bycatch species, two fish (Trachinus vipera; Dicologlossa cuneata) and one crab (Polybius henslowii), were collected during the sorting of catches from a commercial dredging boat. An arbitrary score scale was used to quantify the type and extent of
more » ... e and extent of damage to the organisms. Onboard, damaged individuals were placed in tanks containing seawater which were subsequently transferred to the laboratory. Survival experiments were conducted during the subsequent 48h. D. cuneata exhibited the lowest mortality after 48h (54%), followed by P. henslowii (65%) and T. vipera (81%). Despite the magnitude of the percentage mortalities determined, the average number of individuals estimated to die during a 15 minutes tow (standard commercial fishing time) was relatively small: 1.2, 3.24 and 11 for D. cuneata, T. vipera and P. henslowii, respectively. Nevertheless, when these figures are extrapolated to cover all the dredging fleet the impact of this practice on the populations of the species studied can be significant, particulary for D. cuneata.
doi:10.1590/s1679-87592014067006204 fatcat:pcrnrinznjfdpdimrrnm7jluj4