Christian Hagar

Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Marine Advisory Program (MAP)

Publication Date



Fishery Resource Grant FRG 1999-14


In the summer of 2000, two methods of reducing haul-seine bycatch were tested on the York River, located on the southwestern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Both methods allowed sub-marketable fishes to escape the haul-seine's pocket through a 4' diameter metal panel containing 298 rings with 2" diameters. The release methods differed due to the placement of this panel. The first method placed the panel in the side of the pocket. It released approximately 33% of the croaker< 252 mm (9.9 ") and 65% of the spot < 206 mm (8.1 "). The second method placed the panel at the end of a funnel that was connected to the pocket. This arrangement released 16% of the croaker < 252 mm (9. 9 ") and 46% of the spot <206 mm (8.1 "). Unfortunately, the funnel directed so many large fishes toward the panel that the mechanism became overcrowded and small fishes were prevented panel access. Statistical analysis of method 1 's release of submarketable croaker and spot revealed probabilities of occurrence of< .0005. This study shows great promise. Continued refinement of panel placement and design promises a significant means of release for sub-marketable fishes. Sparing sub-marketable fishes will increase catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) and allow large numbers of juvenile fishes to survive, which are currently harvested before their growth potential is maximized.


Fishing gear, bycatch



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