Volume 62

Bycatch reduction in a tropical shrimp fishery. Experimental results of changing the material of trawl nets

Escobar-Toledo, F.D,; Duarte, L.O.
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Date: November, 2009

Pages: 83-89

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty -Second Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Cumaná

Country: Venezuela


Shrimp trawling, one of the most important fisheries in Colombia, has been rounded by ecological and economic difficulties during the last decade. As a consequence, some studies have been conducted to achieve the sustainability of the fishery, combining strategies of responsible use with more efficient and low environmental impact technologies. Traditionally, nets are built in a heavy material (Polyamide and Polyethylene), increasing fuel consumption. Recently, a synthetic material (Ultra Cross Spectra), lighter and without knots offering less resistance to progress and less abrasion on the bottom, has been proposed for reducing the impact of trawling on benthic communities. With the aim of assessing the ecological effects of changing the material of trawl nets, weight and individual sizes of catches from 51 paired hauls (using both materials) were analyzed. As a result, 174 species were collected. Total catch and size structure of the dominant species (Cathorps spixxi, Diapterus spp., Lepophidium spp., Bagre marinus, Eucinostomus spp., Syacium spp., Diplectrum spp.) showed significant differences (P <0.01) between traditional and new material; lower catches and bigger individuals were registered in the latter. Overall, the results support the contribution of technological advances for appropriate strategies to mitigate the ecosystem impacts of trawling.

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