Volume 62

Reducing The Effects Of Shrimp Trawl Fisheries On The Guiana’s Shield Ecosystem A Regional Perspective.

Nalovic, M.A,; Bardiot, A.
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Date: November, 2009

Pages: 90-97

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

City: Cumaná

Country: Venezuela


Shrimp trawling has for a long time been considered one of the most devastating fishing practices. This is due to the impact that this strategy has on fauna, marine habitat and due to poor fuel efficiency. If trawling off the Guiana’s shield continues at it has for the past 40 years our already dwindling resources will be destroyed. In French Guiana where shrimp trawling has held an important place in the local economy, the practice is subject to strict laws and controls. These laws have been developed locally with industrials, scientists, artisanal fishermen and law makers working together towards a sustainable fishing practice. The laws include: - Creation and enforcement of a <30m non trawling zone. - Minimum size requirements for trawl mesh sizes. - Rules to prevent fish accidentally caught to be sold. - Obligation to use the T-TED (Trash and Turtle Excluder Device) To reduce bycatch the industry has developed and tested new selective fishing gear. During comparative towing tests between regular trawls vs TTED equipped trawls a bycatch reduction of anywhere from 30 to 90% has been calculated. IFREMER’s data shows that these measures have been effective in conserving our resources. Furthermore to reduce fuel consumption the industry is implementing doors that are lighter and reduce drag therefore reducing fuel consumption. Other projects are on the rise including tests on BRS’s (Bycatch Reduction Device). In conclusion it is viable and necessary for all shrimp trawling industries of the Guiana’s shield to integrate environmentally sound laws and initiatives.

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