Fit mesh escape panels/windows to a trawl net and use square mesh instead of diamond mesh codend

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study examined the effects of fitting mesh escape panels to a trawl net and using a square mesh instead of a diamond mesh codend on marine fish populations. The study was in the English Channel (UK). 





  • Reduction of unwanted catch (1 study): One replicated, paired, controlled study in the English Channel found that using a trawl net with square mesh escape panels and a square mesh codend reduced the numbers of discarded finfish compared to a diamond mesh codend with no panels.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2007 of two fished areas of seabed in the English Channel off southwest England, UK (Wade et al. 2009) found that beam trawl nets with two square mesh escape panels (top and bottom) and a square mesh codend, reduced discarded fish catch compared to a standard diamond mesh codend with no escape panels. Across both sampling areas, the modified nets with escape panels and square mesh codends caught 54–63% fewer discarded finfish (617–770 fish) than standard diamond mesh codends (1,652–1,685 fish). Total numbers of six of the nine most numerous fish species/groups were reduced in one or both areas by 17–95%, while there were no differences for three species/groups. In addition, modified nets reduced the retained finfish catches in one of two areas by 22% (modified: 558 fish, standard: 718 fish). Catch comparison trials were done at two separate bottom fishing grounds off the south west coast of England by two commercial beam trawl vessels in July and August 2007. A total of 16 deployments were made of two beam trawl nets towed simultaneously: one modified with two 200 mm square mesh panels (upper and lower) and a 80 mm square mesh codend; and a standard 80 mm diamond mesh codend with no square mesh panels (see paper for specifications). Catches from both trawl nets were kept separate and divided into discarded and retained portions. Discarded finfish and all retained fish were identified, and their total lengths measured (sub-sampled where necessary).

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Taylor, N., Clarke, L.J., Alliji, K., Barrett, C., McIntyre, R., Smith, R.K., and Sutherland, W.J. (2021) Marine Fish Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Selected Interventions. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Marine Fish Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Marine Fish Conservation
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