Snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) interactions with bottom trawls and possible conflicts between trawl fleets and pot fisheries in the Northeast Barents Sea
Approximately two decades ago, snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) were discovered in the Barents Sea. The areas in which they have come to establish themselves, in many instances, overlaps with areas trawled by the commercial groundfish fleet, consequently, leading to interactions between snow crab and bottom gear. Snow crabs, which after settling to the bottom go through a series of molts in order to reach maturity. During this period, they are particularly vulnerable, especially in an area like the Barents Sea, which has a year round bottom fishery. The aim of this study is to look at the interactions taking place between C. opilio and the groundrope used in the traditional commercial fleet, by conducting direct in situ video observations of the encounters to examine the crab’s behaviour. In addition to behaviour, snow crab injuries were recorded in order to determine, what, if any factors might influence injury(s) sustained during interaction with the mobile gear. This experiment employed a modified two-panel version of an Alfredo No. 3 trawl with a retainer bag affixed underneath the center section of the gear to sample snow crabs that escaped below the central section of the trawl.
ForlagUiT The Arctic University of Norway
UiT Norges arktiske universitet
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