A meta-analysis of plaice size-selection data in otter trawl codends
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The influence that mesh size, the number of open meshes around the circumference, twine thickness and catch size have on the size-selection of plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) in otter trawl codends is investigated by synthesising the data from 164 hauls using 25 gear configurations during 9 trips. All these variables have an effect on selection. The 50 % retention length (L50) increases by 1.9 cm for every 10 mm increase of mesh size and decreases by 0.24 cm for every doubling of catch. The selection range decreases by 3.8 % for each increase of 10 open meshes and increases by 12.3 % for each 1 mm increase of twine thickness. The mesh size and twine thickness effects have strong support from the data. The open meshes and catch size effects have less support and should be treated with some caution. There is good correspondence between the predictions of the analysis presented here and the L50 estimates of beam trawl codend selectivity trials, which is noteworthy given the many operational differences between the two fishing methods.