Progressively evaluating a penaeid W trawl to improve eco-efficiency

Balash, Cheslav, Sterling, David and Broadhurst, Matt K. (2016) Progressively evaluating a penaeid W trawl to improve eco-efficiency. Fisheries Research, 181 148-154. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2016.04.011

Author Balash, Cheslav
Sterling, David
Broadhurst, Matt K.
Title Progressively evaluating a penaeid W trawl to improve eco-efficiency
Journal name Fisheries Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0165-7836
Publication date 2016-09-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.fishres.2016.04.011
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 181
Start page 148
End page 154
Total pages 7
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The W trawl is a proposed innovation for more eco-efficient penaeid trawling—via reduced energy intensity and benthic contact. A significant portion of the drag-generated, netting tension of the W trawl is directed away from the wings to centre-line bracing ropes that are connected to a central towing wire through an intermediary sled. This configuration facilitates substantially smaller otter boards than normal, and consequently less drag and seabed contact. Here we compared the engineering and catching implications of subtle, progressive rigging changes to a W trawl paired against a standard Florida flyer trawl; both rigged with another eco-efficient modification, termed the ‘batwing’ otter board (suitably sized for each trawl). The W-trawl refinements included: (i) securing netting at the wing ends to prevent sliding; (ii) moving the headline forward and footrope aft; and (iii) inserting dan lenos at the wing ends. The first two modifications resulted in a maximum drag reduction by the W trawl of up to 11% for a 1.14 × increase in spread. Catches ha−1 of mostly retained (commercially important) large brachyurans and cephalopods were maintained, but penaeid catches were reduced in the W trawl (by at least 33%), which was mostly attributed to less than optimal ground-gear contact. This study provides a base for future research to concurrently reduce the energy intensity and habitat impacts of penaeid trawls, via holistic modifications.
Keyword Batwing otter board
Drag reduction
Trawling eco-efficiency
W trawl
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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School of Biological Sciences Publications
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