ICES - Report of the Study Group on Electrical Trawling 2013 (SGELECTRA)

The Study Group on Electrical Trawling (SGELECTRA), chaired by Bob van Marlen, the Netherlands and Bart Verschueren, Belgium, met in Ostend, Belgium, 22–24 October 2013. A total of 10 participants attended from Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Scotland, and France.

The meeting began with a short review on the history of research of pulse trawling (on flatfish), and the ICES Advice on Pulse Trawling on flatfish of 2006 and 2009, and the following tank experiments carried out by IMARES.

Further data analyses by IMARES, IJmuiden, The Netherlands, were presented and discussed, on the catch comparison of May 2011 on the two pulse trawl vessels TX36 and TX68 and the conventional tickler chain beam trawl vessel GO4, and new reference measurements of field strength in situ in 2013 on the TH7.

An updated presentation was also given about the development of the pulse trawl for the brown shrimp (Crangon crangon L.) fishery by ILVO, Ostend in Belgium, and work to be carried out by two PhD students from the University of Ghent in cooperation with ILVO. This work has been given follow-up in The Netherlands on three commercial vessels, and a project on shrimp fishery using the Marelec-Crangonpulse-beam-trawl in Germany on a commercial boat has recently finished the practical phase.

In addition, an update was given on the razor clam (Ensis) fishery in Scotland in which electrical stimulation is used. The documents produced by the Netherlands Control and Enforcement Group and draft Procedure for Control and Enforcement were presented and discussed.

The reviewing experts concluded that: SGELECTRA recommended continuing work with Terms of Reference given in Annex 5.