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Shell damage and mortality in the common whelk Buccinum undatum caused by beam trawl fishery
Mensink, B.P.; Fischer, C.V.; Cadee, G.C.; Fonds, M.; ten Hallers-Tjabbes, C.C.; Boon, J.P. (2000). Shell damage and mortality in the common whelk Buccinum undatum caused by beam trawl fishery. J. Sea Res. 43(1): 53-64.
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101; e-ISSN 1873-1414, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Catching methods > Net fishing > Trawling
    Environmental impact
    Environments > Aquatic environment > Marine environment
    Fauna > Aquatic organisms > Aquatic animals > Shellfish
    Fishing > Commercial fishing
    Mortality causes
    Population functions > Mortality
    Buccinum undatum Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Gastropoda [WoRMS]
    ANE, North Sea [Marine Regions]
Author keywords
    Buccinum undatum; fishing impact; mortality; shell damage; imposex

Authors  Top 
  • Mensink, B.P.
  • Fischer, C.V.
  • Cadee, G.C.
  • Fonds, M.
  • ten Hallers-Tjabbes, C.C.
  • Boon, J.P., more

    Common whelks Buccinum undatum collected from the southern North Sea were investigated to study the amount of shell damage and mortality caused by beam trawl fishery. The ability of whelks to repair their damaged shells was studied in the laboratory. Whelks (n = 876) were caught with a fine-meshed 3-m beam trawl or with commercial 4- and 12-m beam trawls, while in some areas whelks were also caught with baited traps (used as a reference). Shell damage varied considerably for the different groups. In whelks collected by beam trawling, minor shell damage was observed in 17-75%, and severe damage (when protection against predators and scavengers is lost) in 10-83%. Whelks caught with baited traps sustained only minor shell damage (0-27% of the individuals). Their damage was statistically significantly less than in beam-trawled specimens. Most whelks in all groups exhibited signs of former shell damage, which had since been repaired. Whelk survival was studied in the laboratory over a six-week period. Only 40% of the whelks caught with the 12-m beam trawl survived, irrespective of the damage suffered. Whelks that survived and recovered had repaired their shell after six weeks. More than 95% of the whelks caught with baited traps survived the six-week experimental period; this is statistically significantly higher than the survival of animals caught with the 12-m beam trawl. At five locations females were screened for the presence and stage of imposex. Mild imposex development (mostly stages 1 and 2) was observed at all locations with incidences of 32-80%. It is concluded that beam trawl fishery may be a much greater source of mortality in common whelks than previously thought.

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