Volume 71

Testing of a Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) on a Double Rigged Industrial Trawler Off the Coast of Trinidad and Tobago

Nerissa Lucky
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Date: November, 2018

Pages: 350-351

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Andres Island

Country: Colombia


In Trinidad and Tobago, the shrimp trawl fishery is considered to be one of the country’s most valuable fisheries and Government’s policy directions for the management of the fishery favour strategies which minimize the amount of bycatch taken and promote the release of juvenile fish. Studies previously conducted by the Fisheries Division reveal that bycatch from local industrial commercial shrimp trawl fleets can be as high as fourteen (14) pounds of bycatch to one (1) pound of the shrimp targeted. As part of the “Sustainable Management of Bycatch in Latin America and Caribbean Trawl Fisheries” (REBYC – II LAC) project, the Fisheries Division engaged with fishers owning industrial double rigged shrimp trawl vessels to conduct experimental gear trials on board one of those trawling vessels. A two inch square mesh Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) was inserted in the trawl gear with the aim of facilitating the escape of juvenile non-target finfish species. One of the vessel’s trawling nets was used with the BRD and the other was used as the control. The control and BRD nets were fished simultaneously for a three (3) hour duration for each haul. Total weights of shrimp, useable catch and discards were recorded for each haul. A random basket from the BRD and control catches were taken for sorting of individual species by weights and lengths. The results showed no significant loss of shrimp or useable bycatch between the control and BRD nets as well as a 24.5% reduction in discards by weight when the BRD was used. Thus, the chosen BRD has the potential to work effectively and gear trials are slated to continue in Years II and III of the REBYC – II LAC Project.

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