In this manual we describe the different stages of the fish capture process, highlight how different parts of the gear may influence selection and identify possible design changes which can alter the selectivity of the gear. The intention is to make fishermen, net makers and fisheries managers more aware of the possible modifications that can be made to their gears so that they can design and develop gears with a selective performance suitable for their particular fishery.

We have also assembled a catalogue of fact sheets which provide brief descriptions of many of the catch comparison and selectivity trials that have taken place in the North Atlantic and adjacent seas. This is again to highlight the potential gear modifications that can be made and to provide an indication of their likely effect. It is important to bring together this type of information and to disseminate it as broadly as possible. Not only will the preferred selective performance differ at a fishery by fishery level, it may also vary at a vessel by vessel level, as individual fishermen may wish to tailor their gears to the specific catch and quota restrictions they may face and/or to optimise their response to the prevailing market forces. Furthermore, the catalogue of factsheets is by no means exhaustive, indeed, it is just a starting point that needs to be added to and built upon.

How to cite
O’Neill, F.G. and Mutch, K., 2017. Selectivity in Trawl Fishing Gears. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 8 No 01