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Limited mid-water scavenging of trawl discards
Erzini, K.; Monteiro, P.; Araújo, A.; Castro, M. (2003). Limited mid-water scavenging of trawl discards. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 83(4): 731-734
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  

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  • Erzini, K.
  • Monteiro, P.
  • Araújo, A.
  • Castro, M.

    The consumption or scavenging of fish in the water column at depths from 75 to 275 m in Algarve (southern Portugal) trawl fishing grounds was evaluated. Longlines were used to suspend baits throughout the water column while electric fishing reels were used to simulate sinking discards. Eighteen species were caught, with higher catch rates near the surface than near the bottom. However, scavenging rates were generally highest near the bottom and lowest in the middle of the water column. At depths less than 100 m the majority or all the fish were scavenged throughout the water column, while at depths greater than 200 m most of the fish were untouched after periods of time greater than would be required for them to sink to the bottom. Since other studies have shown that most small fish discards are scavenged at the surface by sea birds and most of the discarded species that sink are either too large or not attractive to pelagic predators, these results suggest that mid-water scavenging of trawl discards in deep water is relatively unimportant.

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