Pulse trawling advice released
ICES has released advice in response to a request from the Netherlands on whether, for the North Sea sole fishery, pulse trawling contributes to reduced or increased ecosystem impacts.
Pulse trawling is the application of electrical stimulation to replace the conventional mechanical stimulation with tickler chains in the beam trawl fishery for sole.
ICES advice is that the change from conventional beam trawling to pulse trawling, when exploiting the total allowable catch (TAC) of North Sea sole (Solea solea), does contribute to reducing the impacts of the sole fishery on the ecosystem and environment.
Pulse trawling in the North Sea
Fisheries scientists have long explored the potential application of electricity in capture fisheries. Since 2009, the majority of Dutch beam trawlers switched to pulse trawling for sole.
However, electrotrawling has become a controversial topic. The use of electricity to catch sole raised concerns about the possibility of increased mortality and sub-lethal effects on target and non-target species, as well as possible adverse impacts on the benthic ecosystem. Fishers in some countries have been impacted by the European Parliament voting to maintain the EU ban on pulse trawling. The latest advice addresses some of these concerns.
The full article can be found at ices.dk