Danish fishermen are asked to participate in experimental weever fishing in the Kattegat. Photo: DFPO
Danish commercial fishermen can now apply to participate in experimental fishing for weever in Kattegat from February to July 2024.
The Danish Fisheries Authority, in collaboration with the Danish Fisheries Producer Organisation (DFPO) and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), announces an experimental project aimed at exploring the possibilities of establishing targeted trawl fishing (consumption and industrial) for weever. Through this experiment, participants may be granted permission to use a more efficient tool for catching a larger quantity of weever. The announcement aims to provide interested fishermen with the opportunity to apply for participation, provided they meet the project’s requirements.
The DFPO, in scientific collaboration with DTU Aqua, will conduct experiments on targeted trawl fishing for weever in the Danish and Swedish parts of Kattegat.
The project opens up the possibility of using a full-mesh trawl bag with a minimum mesh size of 60 mm. Three vessels will have the opportunity to participate in the project, with each vessel being allocated a maximum quota of 233 tonnes of weever when participating in the experiment.
Participating vessels must independently address any bycatches during fishing, either through their own quota for the respective species or by leasing space afterward.
Experiments and Objectives:
The aim of the experiment is to strengthen existing data, including exploring the possibilities of establishing targeted trawl fishing (consumption and industrial) with a minimum 60 mm catch bag. Additionally, it seeks to gain supplementary knowledge about the variation in catch opportunities, size selection of weever, and bycatch of other species throughout the fishing period. The data will be specifically used in a research project supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. The project is a collaboration between DFPO and DTU Aqua and is intended to contribute to a stock assessment of the species.
To ensure the best possible knowledge about fishing practices, their variation, the areas where fishing takes place, and the bycatch profile, participating vessels will need to register each haul and take samples to determine bycatch percentages over the experimental period, following a protocol developed by DTU Aqua/DFPO.
During the experimental fishing, there will be a requirement for the trawl bag to have a minimum mesh size of 60 mm, which the participant must provide. The use of other gear in connection with the experiment will not be allowed.
It is expected that each vessel will conduct 3-10 hauls per day, each tow lasting up to a maximum of five hours. For each haul, two representative (stab) samples of a minimum of 25 kg will be taken. Various data observed from the samples must then be recorded on a form provided by the project managers.
Under the experimental fishing, participating fishermen will be required to measure the length of a specified quantity of weever and bycatch in the sample. The quantities will be further described by DTU Aqua in an experimental protocol presented to the participating vessels before the experiment.
Each vessel will be allocated 233 tonnes of weever for participating in the experiment but will have to independently address any bycatches through their own quota or leasing space. The catch must be landed at an accredited weigh station. The expenses for this will be covered by the vessel.
Observers from DTU Aqua/DFPO will participate in the vessels on selected fishing trips during the experimental fishing.
DFPO and DTU Aqua expect to achieve the following results based on the experimental fishing:
– Description of bycatch throughout the fishing season.
– Description of fishing activities in time and space, including CPUE (catch per unit effort) of weever and bycatch.
– Possibility of preparing a stock assessment for weever in Kattegat.
– Possibility of obtaining a better understanding of price dynamics and market opportunities for weever.
Requirements for Participating Vessels:
– The experimental period is from mid-February to July 31, 2024.
– Vessels with or wishing to install a camera system (electronic monitoring) will be prioritized in the selection of participating vessels.
– The experiment will be conducted with a minimum 60 mm (60-62 mm) full mesh in the trawl bag, which the vessel must provide.
– Each vessel is allocated a maximum quota of 233 tons of weever.
– The vessel must have a weight on board, preferably a sea weight (can also be a bismarck weight).
– Vessels must adhere to the agreements with DFPO, DTU Aqua, and the Danish Fisheries Authority, as well as the permit issued to the vessel.
– Vessels must follow the protocol for experiments and sampling developed by DTU Aqua and DFPO, according to the agreement with DTU based on the experimental protocol.
– Vessels must independently address any bycatches during fishing by either having their own quota for the respective species or leasing space afterward.
– The catch from the experiment must be landed at an accredited weigh station. The vessel covers the expenses for this.
– It is expected that each vessel will conduct 3-10 hauls per day, each lasting up to 5 hours.
Source: Press Release