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The influence of the type of hook on the capture of groupers and bycatch with bottom longline in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia
Echwikhi, K.; Jribi, I.; Saïdi, B.; Bradai, M.N. (2015). The influence of the type of hook on the capture of groupers and bycatch with bottom longline in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 95(1): 207-214. hdl.handle.net/10.1017/S0025315414001180
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    By-catch; Catch rate; Grouper fisheries; Longline; Mortality; Marine
Author keywords
    Circle hook

Authors  Top 
  • Echwikhi, K.
  • Jribi, I.
  • Saïdi, B.
  • Bradai, M.N.

Abstract
    Members of the Epinephelinae subfamily of serranids (‘grouper’) are heavily exploited by bottom longline in the Gulf of Gabès located in the south of Tunisia. In addition to direct mortality, hook and release mortalities likely occur when fish are caught and released, due to injuries sustained from hooking as well as those associated with retrieval. During five experimental trips (29 fishing sets) conducted in August 2011 from the port of Djerba (south of the Gulf of Gabès), we evaluated the effect of hook styles (9/0 ‘J’ and 12/0 circle hook) on groupers and non-target species. A total of 340 specimens representing 10 species were captured. The higher catch rate was registered for Epinephelus aeneus. The majority of groupers captured were female mature. The circle hook increased the capture of the most common grouper E. aeneus and did not affect the catch of Epinephelus marginatus and Epinepheleus costae. The effect of the type of hook on hooking location was inconclusive. Managing of the grouper fishery using some management actions such as size limits, bag limits, and closed seasons may prevent more unnecessary losses of grouper species. From this preliminary study, a definite conclusion for or against the use of circle hook cannot be drawn. Further research on the role of gear modification and hook designs in reducing by-catch, hooking-related injury and mortality should be encouraged.

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