In 2005, a new trawl survey was launched in Scotland to estimate anglerfish (Lophius spp.) abundance using swept-area estimates. This required an understanding of the herding of the fish by the gear, particularly in the zone between the doors and wing ends. TV observations at the wing ends and along the sweeps were used to quantify the behavioural reactions of anglerfish. These observations were analysed to develop a gear efficiency estimate. This paper details the construction of the net and the procedures for data collection on the survey. in all, 54 reliable observations of anglerfish were recorded at the groundgear, the wing ends, and along the sweep/bridle combination. Detailed analysis of the recordings showed that all fish in the path of the net were captured, whereas more than half of the fish between the wings and the doors were not. The fish did not appear to herd and many of the encounters with the wires were passive. An individual-based particle-tracking model was constructed to use the behavioural observations to simulate the capture process and generate an efficiency factor. The calculated efficiency factor, based on the behavioural observations, was 1.04, indicating that almost all fish encountering the sweeps and bridles were lost. The implications and suggestions for development of this work are discussed.
- survey trawl