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 In the fishery using the pulse technique, the tickler chains have been replaced by electric pulses to make the flatfish leap into the net.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?
In recent years, pulse trawl fishing has only been allowed on the basis of a derogation for scientific research. This research maps the effects of pulse fishing on the ecosystem. In April 2019, the European Parliament decided to definitively ban pulse fishing, mostly on the basis of political and socio-economic considerations. Scientific research however remains important to demonstrate the ecological and economic advantages and disadvantages of innovative fishing techniques such as pulse fishing.
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Publications about pulse fishing
Effects of abiotic variables on the survival of discarded bycatches in North Sea pulse-trawl fisheries
IJmuiden : Wageningen Marine Research (Wageningen Marine Research rapport C040/19) - p.
Field strength profile in and above the seabed as reference to pulse trawl fishing on Dover sole (Solea solea)
IJmuiden : Wageningen Marine Research (Wageningen Marine Research report C022/18) - p.
Recommendations for additional research into pulse-trawl fisheries : Based on an inventory of stakeholder concerns
IJmuiden : Wageningen Marine Research (Wageningen Marine Research report C106/18) - p.
Cod-end selectivity for sole (Solea solea) and plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) in North Sea pulse-trawl fisheries : Best Practices II - WP4 selectivity
Den Helder : Wageningen Marine Research (Wageningen Marine Research report C049/18) - p.
Discards survival probabilities of flatfish and rays in North Sea pulse-trawl fisheries
IJmuiden : Wageningen Marine Research (Wageningen Marine Research rapport C037/18) - p.
Increasing the survival of discards in North Sea pulse-trawl fisheries
IJmuiden : Wageningen Marine Research (Wageningen Marine Research rapport C038/18) - p.
Final report of the Working Group on electrical Trawling
: ICES - p.
Effects of electrical stimulation on marine organisms in bottom pulse trawl fisheries in the North Sea
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.