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|Teruggooi in de boomkorvisserij: Optimalisatie van het onderzoek, Evaluatie van reducerende Technische maatregelen en Sensibilisering van de sector: Projectrapport 'TOETS'|
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|Vandendriessche, S.; Moreau, K.; Anseeuw, D.; Vandemaele, S. (2008). Teruggooi in de boomkorvisserij: Optimalisatie van het onderzoek, Evaluatie van reducerende Technische maatregelen en Sensibilisering van de sector: Projectrapport 'TOETS'. ILVO Visserij: Oostende. 175 pp.|
The research project TOETS was initiated as a response to a number of specific management questions concerning the discard problems in the Belgian beam trawl fishery, which is characterized by particularly high discard percentages of commercially unimportant organisms (invertebrates, fish species with low or no commercial interest, and individuals of commercially important species below minimum landing size). Several issues concerning the development of a suitable protocol for collecting discard data on board of commercial beam trawl vessels, the quantification of the amount and the composition of discards produced by the Belgian beam trawlers, and the evaluation of technical adaptations to the existing trawling gear resulting in a substantial reduction in the amount of discards, were the main research topics of this project. Informing the fisheries sector about the results of the project also belonged to the objectives.
Based on the results of the project TOETS there is concluded that about one fourth of the Belgian catches currently consists of organisms that are discarded (with an extensive variation in discard weights, composition and length-frequency distributions). Including noncommercial organisms in the existing discard monitoring programmes implicates an enormous added value for the insights we build up with respect to the impact of beam trawling on the marine ecosystem, but requires some adaptations to the protocol, and implies as well a significantly higher physical demand of the on-board observers. However, technical adaptations to the trawling gear offer great potentials for reducing discards. (with the best results, in this study, when using a benthos release panel). However, the reduction mainly affected discarded numbers rather than weights.
Finally, it is concluded that the fisheries industry is very well aware of the discard problems in the Belgian beam trawl fisheries, as is illustrated by some own initiatives and the willingness to cooperate with scientists from the Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Research. Additionally, the resultats of the project TOETS can help our fishermen to react pro-actively to the possible future introduction of European measures to achieve discard reductions.