Bioeconomic analysis of the effects of modifying the trawl extension piece with T90 netting
Keywords:discards ban, bottom trawl fisheries, T90 net, bioeconomic model, Mediterranean fisheries
We assessed the effect of the European discards ban on the profitability of bottom trawlers in a case study fishery (GSA06, NW Mediterranean) in the transition period 2017-2018, when the species that characterize the fishery, viz. hake and red mullet, fall under the discards ban. We used the results of Sola and Maynou (2018) to simulate the adoption of a modified bottom trawl design using a T90 extension net to reduce the catches of undersize hake and red mullet. Our results show that the economic impact of the former discards brought to land on the fisheries operators is expected to be low, regardless of the possible commercial use of these unwanted catches. Furthermore, the adoption of a more selective bottom trawl design would increase the escape of undersize individuals and likely reduce fishing mortality of the target species, contributing to stock rebuilding and providing higher income to the fisheries operators in the medium to long term.
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