Campaign to popularise square mesh cod-ends

December 14, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 24, 2016 03:32 pm IST - KOCHI:

Network for Fish Quality Management Sustainable Fishing will take the campaign to popularise 25-mm square mesh cod-ends across Kerala after initial use of the improved fishing gear by trawlers operating out of some of the fishing harbours has been seen helping conservation and cutting fuel cost.

NETFISH, Marine Products Export Development Authority’s extension wing for fisheries conservation, had persuaded trawling boat operators in Munambam, Kalamukku, Neendakara and Thottappally to switch to square mesh cod-ends as they helped conserve fish juveniles.

The improved gear, developed initially by Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, was introduced to trawl boat operators based in Thoppumpady last week, said a NETFISH official here.

The cod-end has a total length of nine metres with its mouth measuring 2.5 metres and end measuring 3.5 metres.

A cod-end is the tapering end of the trawl net where fish is collected as the net is hauled through the waters. The square mesh takes the place of the traditional diamond-shaped mesh, which shrink under the pulling pressure preventing juveniles from escaping.

The NETFISH official said that killing of a wide range of small living organisms or bycatch was a major problem when trawlers operated. However, with the square mesh allowing juveniles to escape, precious resources are conserved and bycatch reduction helps cut fuel cost.

Initial experiments with the square mesh cod-ends showed that there was a saving of two litres of diesel per fishing hour, which translated into Rs. 1,500 per day and Rs. 1.3 lakh per year if 100 active fishing days are considered per boat.

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