Study on the Juvenile and Trash Excluder Devices (JTEDs) in Malaysia
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It has been recognized for some time that trawling in shallow coastal waters has an adverse effect upon the bio-diversity of the areas and more directly catches the juveniles and immature fish seeking both food and protection in the target waters. There are several unanswered regional questions to which answers should be found. It has been found possible to selectively harvest target species, but where there is a diversity to target species, as there are in tropical waters, the identification of the most suitable Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs)/ Juvenile and Trash Excluder Devices (JTEDs) to conduct the selective harvesting has yet to be established. It may well be that a variety of selective devices should be used, but certainly the experimental approach will identify the best designs. Today, more advanced fishing technology emphases is placed to on the design of devices having the aim of selectively harvesting the target catch while at the same time reducing the level of undesirable catch in the form of juveniles, immature and trash fish. During 1998 and 1999, SEAFDEC Training Department carried out a series of experiments with varying degrees of success, in the Gulf of Thailand. These experiments investigated the use of shrimp trawls equipped with various types of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs). The preliminary results and conclusions from these experiments were reasonably good in terms of catching and release efficiency of economically important fish species. Comparing nets with and without TEDs tested the efficiencies of the designs. During the year 2000, the study continued in other regional countries' waters when experiments of JTEDs were conducted in Brunei Darussalam. In these experiments the design of the devices had been refined and the results indicated an immediate and satisfactory improvement. In May 2001,JTEDs introduced into Vietnam in collaboration with RIMP of Vietnam. The experiment and demonstrations were carried out in Cat Ba Island in Hai Phong Province. To continue these activities Malaysia was selected as a country where the implementation of such devices can be beneficial. As DOF, Malaysia, also has a project on selective fishing gear in the West Coast of the Malaysia Peninsula. The objective are as follows; 1) to conduct experiments and evaluations on a new type of JTEDs for fish trawl net, 2) To evaluate and determine the catching and escapement levels efficiency of JTEDs designs, and 3) To promote the suitable JTEDs under the responsible fishing technology and practices program through training and demonstration to Malaysian fishermen. This paper describes the results of the juvenile and trash fishes excluder device tests conducted aboard a Malaysia Fishing Trawler in cooperation with the Department of Fisheries, Malaysia. In particular, it provides estimates of Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) of trawls fishery, catch composition in day and nighttimes, distribution of length-frequencies for the capture fishes and released fishes using different opening grid.