A year-long trial of a square mesh panel in a commercial demersal trawl

L. W. Bullough, I. R. Napier, C. H. Laurenson, D. Riley, R. J. Fryer, R. S. T. Ferro, R. J. Kynoch

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Trials were carried out to evaluate the effects of a square mesh panel on the catches of a demersal trawl during normal commercial fishing operations over a period of 1 year. A 100 mm cod-end fitted with a 90 mm mesh square mesh panel between 6.3 and 9.3 m from the cod-line was compared with an identical cod-end with no panel, attached to the same net, using the alternate haul method. The square mesh panel significantly reduced the catch of undersized whiting (by an estimated 34%; p < 0.001) and of whiting greater than the minimum landing size up to lengths of about 32 cm (p < 0.05). However, the square mesh panel had no significant effect on the catches of haddock, cod or monkfish. Hauls with a small-mesh cod-end showed that large numbers of small haddock were present in the areas where the trials were carried out. Few of these fish were retained by the normal cod-end, either with or without the square-mesh panel, suggesting that fitting the square mesh panel did not appreciably improve the selectivity of the cod-end design used in these trials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages7
JournalFisheries Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2007


  • square mesh
  • cod-end
  • selectivity
  • trawl
  • haddock
  • whiting


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