Modelling towing and haul-back escape patterns during the fishing process: a case study for cod, plaice, and flounder in the demersal Baltic Sea cod fishery

Herrmann, Bent; Mieske, Bernd GND; Stepputtis, Daniel GND; Krag, Ludvig Ahm; Madsen, Niels; Noack, Thomas

The survival likelihood of fish escaping through trawl codends may depend on when they escape. It is therefore relevant to investigate when during the fishing process fish actually attempt to escape and do escape from trawl codends. This subject is addressed by modelling data collected during a specially designed experiment. Results demonstrate that the escape process during towing cannot be described sufficiently by a traditional logistic model or something similar. Instead, a model is required that explicitly considers that not all fish necessarily contact the codend netting to attempt escape during the towing phase. A model that accounts for such behaviour is applied and it is demonstrated that this model can adequately describe the size selection process during towing. The overall escape process, which consists of the attempt probability, partial escape during towing, and partial escape during the haul-back phase, is also modelled. This proposed model sufficiently described the observed escape pattern for cod (Gadus morhua), plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), and flounder (Platichtys flesus). For all three species, a significant percentage of the individuals entering the codends during fishing first attempt to escape during the haul-back operation.

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Herrmann, Bent / Mieske, Bernd / Stepputtis, Daniel / et al: Modelling towing and haul-back escape patterns during the fishing process: a case study for cod, plaice, and flounder in the demersal Baltic Sea cod fishery. 2013.

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