Dredge selectivity in a Mediterranean striped venus clam (Chamelea gallina) fishery
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonFisheries Research. 2021, 238:105895 1-10. 10.1016/j.fishres.2021.105895
The striped venus clam Chamelea gallina is the target of a large fleet of hydraulic dredgers, which represent an important fishing sector in terms of income and landings in the Mediterranean Sea. Although there is information on the catch rates, impact and discards related to this fishery, the size selection process carried out by the dredge during trawl under commercial conditions is practically unknown. The present study aimed to fill this gap, assessing the selectivity of the gear at different haul durations. We demonstrated that 25% of the clams entering the dredge were not size selected by it. Clams with a length (i.e. maximum distance between anterior and posterior margins) of 18.9 mm had 50% retention probability and tow duration did not affect the size selection process in the dredge. The dredge catch efficiency was 79% in numbers of clams and 89% in weight. 58% of the clams caught were below the minimum conservation reference size of 25 mm. The study demonstrates that to land only the legal sizes of clams, the additional size selection process carried out on board the fishing vessels by the sorting sieves is necessary.