|dc.description.abstract||The issue of bycatch and discards in the trawl fisheries involving small-scale boats is
significantly different from the trawl fisheries conducted by industrial fishing companies.
Shrimp is the most expected catch among small-scale trawl fishermen and the bycatch is
dominated by groundfish, such as members of Leiognathidae, Haemulidae, Mullidae, and
Scianidae. The bycatch can be sold by fishermen to buyers who will either resale it or
process it into dried or salted fish or became fish meal.
Since not all bycatch are kept onboard (by fishermen), the rest will be returned to
the sea as discards. It is well demonstrated that in trawl fisheries targeting shrimps, the
proportion of bycatch far exceeds the proportion of the shrimps. Therefore, discards has
become one of big issues in the trawl fisheries, especially the one that is conducted by
fishing companies operating large sized trawlers. This situation is particularly applicable to
the trawl fisheries at Sorong.
In some regions, the small-scale fishermen may have no specific target species
because the populations of those species are at a low level. To them, any catch is valuable
and worth to be retained. Therefore, discards is not an important issue. Fishermen now
consider the catch of earlier target species merely as a bonus because they do not expect to
catch them anymore. This situation is likely observed in the northern Java trawl fisheries
(Cirebon, Tegal and Brondong) and Bengkulu (Sumatera).
In other regions, small-scale fishermen are more confident with successful trawling
since their main target species are still abundant. To them, shrimp is often the most
valuable catch while certain type of fish are interesting to them only to be kept for family’s
meal (e.g. Indian mackerels) or to be distributed in their neighborhood. However, by-catch
is not an issue since most of those fish are sold to local fish processors. The fishing intensity
conducted by the small scale fisheries is not as intensive as that carried out by industrial
trawlers. The issue of potential discards is less relevant than the discards resulted from the
operation of the industrial trawlers. This situation is commonly found in the trawl fisheries
in Tarakan, Kotabaru and Pontianak.
While the trawl fisheries mentioned above are concentrated to catch shrimps, the
trawl fisheries in Belawan are targeting various types of demersal fish. The fish trawls
consequently produce less by-catch since their catch is dominated by their targets which are
multi-species of finfish. Certainly if they accidentally catch some shrimps, they will retain
the by-catch on-board. Fishermen are likely concerned when the catch is dominated by
small-sized fish individuals of no market value.
The three types of potential strategies to manage the by-catch issues are: (1) adjusting
trawl operations according to natural spatial and temporal distribution of the target species
and its associated fish assemblages, (2) improvement of fishing methods to reduce the
likelihood of unwanted fish retained by fishing gear or improvement of fishing selectivity,
and (3) directing fish transaction to certain quality of fish that promote protection of young
or small fish from early exploitation.||en