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Ghost fishing in the pot fishery for blue swimmer crabs Portunus pelagicus in Queensland, Australia

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Campbell, M. J. and Sumpton, W. D. (2009) Ghost fishing in the pot fishery for blue swimmer crabs Portunus pelagicus in Queensland, Australia. Fisheries Research, 95 (2-3). pp. 246-253.

PDF (Ghost fishing blue swimmer crabs)

Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2008.09.026

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Blue swimmer crabs (Portunus pelagicus) are an economically important crab caught in baited traps throughout the Indo-west Pacific and Mediterranean. In Australia they are traditionally caught using rigid wire traps (approximate to pots) but there has been a recent increase in the use of collapsible pots constructed from polyethylene trawl mesh. Two experiments were conducted in Moreton Bay, Queensland, to determine the ghost fishing potential of lost crab pots on both target and bycatch species and to evaluate the differences between traditional and contemporary pot designs. A lost contemporary, collapsible trawl mesh pot will catch between 3 and 223 R pelagicus per year after the bait has been exhausted, while a traditional wire mesh pot would catch 11-74 crabs peryear. As most fishers now use the collapsible trawl mesh pots, ghost fishing mortality could be as high as 111,811-670,866 crabs per year. Bycatch retention was also higher in contemporary designs. Periods of strong winds appeared to increase the ghost fishing potential of lost pots. The use of escape gaps, larger mesh sizes and construction options that allow for the deterioration of entrance funnels to minimise ghost fishing are recommended to reduce environmental impacts.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Fisheries
Additional Information:© Crown Copyright.
Keywords:Blue swimmer crab; ghost fishing; pot fishery; Portunus pelagicus; collapsible pot; escape; Charybdis-Japonica; trap Design; trials.
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Methods and gear. Catching of fish
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery conservation
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Shellfish fisheries
Live Archive:10 Feb 2009 06:07
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:43

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