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Effect of changes in hook pattern and size on catch rate, hooking location, injury and bleeding for a number of tropical reef fish species

Mapleston, A. and Welch, D. and Begg, G.A. and McLennan, M. and Mayer, D. and Brown, I. (2008) Effect of changes in hook pattern and size on catch rate, hooking location, injury and bleeding for a number of tropical reef fish species. Fisheries Research, 91 (2-3). pp. 203-211.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2007.11.026

Publisher URL: http://www.elsevier.com

Abstract

The Queensland Great Barrier Reef line fishery in Australia is regulated via a range of input and output controls including minimum size limits, daily catch limits and commercial catch quotas. As a result of these measures a substantial proportion of the catch is released or discarded. The fate of these released fish is uncertain, but hook-related mortality can potentially be decreased by using hooks that reduce the rates of injury, bleeding and deep hooking. There is also the potential to reduce the capture of non-target species though gear selectivity. A total of 1053 individual fish representing five target species and three non-target species were caught using six hook types including three hook patterns (non-offset circle, J and offset circle), each in two sizes (small 4/0 or 5/0 and large 8/0). Catch rates for each of the hook patterns and sizes varied between species with no consistent results for target or non-target species. When data for all of the fish species were aggregated there was a trend for larger hooks, J hooks and offset circle hooks to cause a greater number of injuries. Using larger hooks was more likely to result in bleeding, although this trend was not statistically significant. Larger hooks were also more likely to foul-hook fish or hook fish in the eye. There was a reduction in the rates of injuries and bleeding for both target and non-target species when using the smaller hook sizes. For a number of species included in our study the incidence of deep hooking decreased when using non-offset circle hooks, however, these results were not consistent for all species. Our results highlight the variability in hook performance across a range of tropical demersal finfish species. The most obvious conservation benefits for both target and non-target species arise from using smaller sized hooks and non-offset circle hooks. Fishers should be encouraged to use these hook configurations to reduce the potential for post-release mortality of released fish.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© Crown Copyright.
Keywords:Circle hooks; Great Barrier Reef; hook location; post-release survival; reef line fishery.
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Methods and gear. Catching of fish
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery conservation
Deposited On:02 Feb 2009 04:29
Last Modified:06 Sep 2010 07:33

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