New codend designs to improve the size selectivity of fyke net for narrow-clawed crayfish (Pontastacus leptodactylus)
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAquatic Living Resources. 2022, 35 1-13. 10.1051/alr/2022014
The narrow-clawed crayfish (Pontastacus leptodactylus) is one of the most ecologically and economically important freshwater species in Turkey. However, the harvest of this species has declined from 7937 t in 1984 to 696 t in 2019. One of primary reasons for this decrease in stock is the use of fishing gears with poor size selectivity. In this study, new codend designs were investigated to improve the size selectivity of fyke nets for P. leptodactylus. Seven codends of three different designs were tested: (1) a commercially used standard codend with 34 mm mesh size (Com34); (2) sorting grids with 20 (SG20), 25 (SG25) and 30 mm (SG30) bar spacing attached to the last circle of the net; and (3) a stiff rigged net, the last part of the fyke nets (codend) with 34 (SRN34), 42 (SRN42) and 50 mm (SRN50) mesh size. The average length at 50% retention probability (L50) and selection range (SR) (L75–L25) values of Com34 were 9.4 cm and 3.1 cm, respectively. For the SG20, SG25 and SG30 grids, the L50 values were 11.3 cm, 11.6 cm and 12.0 cm, while the SR values were 1.4 cm, 1.3 cm and 0.6 cm, respectively. For the SRN34, SRN42 and SRN50 codends, the L50 values were 10.9 cm, 11.6 cm and 11.6 cm, while the SR values were 2.1 cm, 2.1cm and 1.1 cm, respectively. Overall, the commercial codend resulted in lower L50 values when the minimum conservation reference length of 10 cm was considered. However, all tested new codend designs showed improved selectivity compared with the standard, with optimum results obtained with SG20. SG20 grid decreased discarding by 15.7% compared to the classic commercial fyke net; thus, this is a very important result for the sustainability of natural P. leptodactylus stocks.