Selectivity of diamond and square mesh cod ends for horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus), European hake (Merluccius merluccius) and axillary seabream (Pagellus acarne) in the shallow groundfish assemblage off the south-west coast of Portugal
Aida Campos, P. Fonseca

The effects of an increase in cod end mesh size from 65 to 70 and 80 mm and a change of mesh configuration from 65 mm diamond to 65 mm square mesh on the size selectivity of horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus), hake (Merluccius merluccius) and axillary seabream (Pagellus acarne) of the shallow groundfish assemblage off the Portuguese southwest coast were evaluated. The increase in mesh size had a small but significant effect on size selectivity for the three species, while the change in mesh configuration led to a much more pronounced increase in the selectivity parameters. For horse mackerel, the L50 estimates ranged from 14.4 to 16.0 cm in the diamond mesh cod ends-values that are close to the minimum landing size of 15 cm. For hake, L50 of 17.0 and 18.3 cm were estimated for the 70 and 80 mm diamond cod ends respectively, while for the axillary seabream the L50 estimated was 13.9 cm for the 80 mm diamond mesh cod end. These values are well below the minimum landing sizes of 27 and 18 cm for these species. The corresponding estimates in the square mesh cod end were 21.9, 32.4 and 19.6 cm, with the loss of a high percentage (76%) of horse mackerel above the minimum landing size. For all the cod ends tested, the observed retention was presented as a function of maximum girth/mesh perimeter, which allowed a better understanding of the selection process for the species in study. Selectivity estimates for horse mackerel and hake were also compared to those obtained by Campos et al. (2003) for the same species in 1993 off the south coast, where they are captured as a by-catch in the crustacean fishery.

Keywords: cod end selectivity, mesh size, mesh configuration, length-girth relationships, by-catch, Trachurus trachurus, Merluccius merluccius, Pagellus acarne.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 67(2) : 249-260 Back PDF
Please, send comments to
ICM (CSIC) - Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49. E-08003 Barcelona (Spain)