Aquatic Sciences and Engineering, vol.38, no.1, pp.53-61, 2023 (Scopus)
© 2023 Authors. All rights reserved.Across the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, an improvement in technological adoption which optimizes the environmental benefits of fisheries is needed. The testing of quality standards in trawl fishing is one of the essential components. In an experiment, we tested four bottom trawl cod-ends in the western Black Sea to determine the characteristics of the catch composition. Fishing trials were conducted by 40 mm diamond (40D), 44 mm diamond (44D), 40 mm square (the 40S), and 40 mm 90-degree turned (40T) mesh cod-ends for 31 bottom trawling hauls. The multivariate analysis of catch composition indicated a significantly higher differentiation between 40D and 40T cod-ends, mainly characterized by five species: Merlangius merlangus, Mytilus galloprovincialis, Trachinus draco, Mullus barbatus, and Uranuscopus scaber. The difference in the shape of cod-end meshes reflected the variation in the catchability and catch composition. However, the 40S and 40T showed 80% similarity in catch composition. Among cod-ends, 40T yielded in lowest catch per unit effort for both commercial and other species. Adoption of gear specially made to catch more target species can help bottom trawl fisheries further improve their ecological and economic sustainability.