The Baltic cod (Gadus morhua) plays a very significant role in the Baltic Sea ecosystem being the major fish top predator and the most important commercial species for the Baltic Sea fishing industry. Consequently the management and understanding of the exploitation pattern of the stock is of major importance. Technical regulations, improving the selectivity of cod, have been a major management strategy and the Baltic Sea is likely to be the area where most fishing gear selectivity studies, focussing on size selectivity, have been conducted over time. The methodology for conducting and analysing selectivity data has been significantly improved in recent years. The subject is reviewed since the choice of methodology can have a significant effect on the interpretation of the outcome of selectivity experiments. Factors affecting the selectivity of trawl and gill nets are considered. Alternative ways to improve the size and species selectivity of trawls using selective devices are reviewed. Selectivity parameters from available literature are listed and the correlations of selectivity parameters to the mesh size for different gears are estimated. The historical legislation on selectivity is reviewed and the expected selectivity for trawls is estimated. Management considerations concerning the mortality of escaping and discarded fish and wider management impacts have to be considered if improving selectivity. The review is ended by conclusions including reflections on needed research in the future.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 24, 2007
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