Overfishing has reduced the stock of hairtail Trichiurus japonicus around the Bungo Channel, Japan. To determine whether using larger bait in the trolling line fishery could avoid catching small/undersize hairtail, we developed and trialled a new large artificial bait (a soft plastic bait, 6 inches long). A traditional lure with natural bait (type-1), a new lure of the new artificial bait hook without natural bait (type-2), and a new lure with natural bait (type-3) were tested in fishing operations around the Bungo Channel. Compared with type-1, type-2 and type-3 caught fewer undersized and immature female individuals. The number of fish caught, yield, and composition of commercial size grades per recruitment were calculated from field data for each lure and compared. The catch sizes (number of fish per recruitment) were smaller for type-2 and type-3 than for type-1, but yield per recruitment was higher for type-3 than for type-1. Compared with type-1, type-2 and type-3 caught more large individuals, which are more valuable. The newly developed artificial bait conserves hairtail stocks by targeting larger fish, which is economically beneficial for the hairtail trolling line fishery.
Fisheries Science – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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