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Title: Bycatch of short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) in the pair bottom trawl fishery of the Bay of Biscay and its mitigation with an active acoustic deterrent device (pinger)
Authors: Puente, Esteban; Citores, Leire; Cuende, Elsa; Krug, Inigo; Basterretxea, Mikel
Abstract: Bycatch of common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) in commercial trawl fisheries in the Bay of Biscay (NE Atlantic) is of concern and its mitigation a priority. Active acoustic deterrent devices (pingers) attached to fishing gear seem to be promising for bycatch mitigation, as they have demonstrated to effectively reduce cetacean bycatch in some set-net fisheries. However, the low occurrence of common dolphin bycatch in many trawl fisheries, coupled with the extensive amount of time needed to monitor them, makes it difficult to prove the effectiveness of pingers. Remote electronic monitoring (REM) systems in fisheries can substantially increase onboard observation, providing access to extensive databases to comprehensively address bycatch mitigation studies. In this study, the effectiveness of DDD \& REG;03H Dolphin Dissuasive Device (hereinafter DDD pingers) to reduce common dolphin bycatch was evaluated in a demersal pair trawler in FAO Division 27.8.c. In 195 fishing days, one of the vessels in the pair operated with a set of DDD pingers whereas the other operated without them, and the bycatch of common dolphin was monitored through the REM system. In total, 660 fishing hauls were conducted of which 223 hauls had the DDDs attached. The results showed that the DDDs reduced common dolphin bycatch by more than 90\%, with both bycatch frequency and the number of individuals bycaught per haul being significantly lower. The results also showed that common dolphin bycatch in this fishery is related to factors such as the fishing zone and depth, whereas the type of net deployed, time of day and haul duration were found to not significantly affect the bycatch of this species.
Keywords: Delphinus delphis; Bycatch mitigation; DDD pinger; Pair bottom trawling; Bay of Biscay; MARINE-MAMMALS; DEPREDATION; CETACEANS; MEGAFAUNA
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: ELSEVIER
Type: Article; Early Access
DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2023.106819
ISSN: 0165-7836
E-ISSN: 1872-6763
Funder: General Fisheries Secretariat of the Spanish Fisheries Ministry
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos

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