Scientists and fishing businesses are looking for more sustainable methods for catching flatfish and shrimp, and are therefore experimenting with pulse trawling. This method involves replacing the tickler chains by electrodes that emit electric pulses - the pulse trawl. Wageningen University & Research investigates the advantages and disadvantages of pulse fishing for marine ecosystems and the economy.
What is pulse fishing?
The traditional beam-trawl fishery for flatfish uses so-called tickler chains to startle fish like common sole and plaice and make them leap into the net. The chains are dragged over the seabed, disturbing the sediment and causing mortality of organisms in the trawl track. In the fishery using the pulse technique, the tickler chains have been replaced by electric pulses to make the flatfish leap into the net.
Why is pulse fishing research important?
European regulations prohibit the use of electricity in marine fisheries. Fishers who use the pulse gear are currently fishing based on a derogation. As part of the decision-making process on whether or not to allow pulse fisheries, the impacts of the gear on the ecosystem will have to be investigated.
Publications about pulse fisheries
Can pulse trawling reduce the mechanical impact on the benthic ecosystem in the bottom trawl fishery for sole?
In: Abstract book - 10th International Symposium Flatfish. - - p. 81 - 81.
Pulse fishing is more efficient for some species, but not for others, compared to traditional beam tralwing
In: Abstract book - 10th International Symposium Flatfish. - - p. 96 - 96.
Survival of undersized plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), sole (Solea solea), and dab (Limanda limanda) in North Sea pulse-trawl fisheries
ICES Journal of Marine Science 74 (2017)6. - ISSN 1054-3139 - p. 1672 - 1680.
Effects of electrical stimulation on marine organisms in bottom pulse trawl fisheries in the North Sea
Pulse trawl fishing: characteristics of the electrical stimulation and the effect on behaviour and injuries of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)
ICES Journal of Marine Science 73 (2016)6. - ISSN 1054-3139 - p. 1557 - 1569.
Mixed fisheries management
Fisheries Research 174 (2016). - ISSN 0165-7836 - p. 118 - 128.
Fishing gear transitions: lessons from the Dutch flatfish pulse trawl
ICES Journal of Marine Science 73 (2016)4. - ISSN 1054-3139 - p. 1235 - 1243.
Measuring and assessing the physical impact of beam trawling
ICES Journal of Marine Science 73 (2016)S1. - ISSN 1054-3139 - p. i15 - i26.
Second Interim Report of the Working Group on electrical Trawling (WGELEKTRA)
The introduction of the pulse trawl technique in the dutch flatfishery fishery