At-sea testing and assessment of the John Thomas bigeye turtle excluder device as an approved TED for Australia's northern prawn fishery

Authors: 

Day, G.

Year: 

2000

Journal/Publisher Name: 

Australian Maritime College

Page #s: 

1-18

Contact information: 

Garry Day Fishing Technology Unit Australian Maritime College PO Box 21 Beaconsfield, Tasmania
Summary: 

Two new types of turtle excluder devices were tested in the Northern Australia prawn fishery, to determine their ability to exclude sea turtles from capture.  The first design, JT 1, had a large escape opening across the width of the top panel ahead of the codend, with the forward edge of the escape weighted down and the aft edge buoyed.  This design did not prevent the capture of sea turtles or other large sharks and rays but caught 6.6% more tiger prawns and 10.5% more endeavour prawns than the standard net.  The second design, JT 2, had two large holes (200 cm long x 30 meshes deep) cut into the side panels of the net ahead of the codend with the aft edge weighted and two standard (40 mesh wide) bigeye escape panels were added between the two side openings.  The second design also did not prevent the capture of sea turtles or other large sharks and rays but did reduce finfish bycatch by 5% and caught 5.2% more tiger prawns and 6.9% more endeavour prawns compared to standard nets.