This chapter provides a general overview of the Barents Sea demersal trawl fishery. First, it reviews historical catch levels and current biomass status of four commercially important demersal species (cod, haddock, Greenland halibut, and redfish) and includes an overview of their management plan that has been carried out by the Joint Norwegian–Russian commission. Then, it presents the evolution of the technical regulations for improving size selectivity in this fishery and describes current challenges in gear selectivity. Later, this chapter describes the concept of size selectivity, introduces the selective parameters that define a selection curve, and progressively introduces different parametric models that describe the selection process. The most common experimental methods and gear used to collect selectivity data are described, and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Finally, this chapter describes an alternative, or a complementary method, to the conventional estimation of trawl selectivity—the FISHSELECT method. This method is based on morphology measurements and fish penetration models to estimate the selective properties of different mesh shapes and sizes at different mesh openings, which are later used to provide simulation-based prediction of size selectivity. FISHSELECT has already been applied to four important species of the Barents Sea Demersal Fishery, and the results have in all cases showed to be coherent with the results obtained from sea trial results.
Part of the book: Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Modern World