Does hook type influence the catch rate, size, and injury of grouper in a North Carolina commercial fishery?

  • Published source details Bacheler N.M. & Buckel J.A. (2004) Does hook type influence the catch rate, size, and injury of grouper in a North Carolina commercial fishery?. Fisheries Research, 69, 303-311.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use a different hook type

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Use a different hook type

    A replicated, randomized study in 2003 in pelagic waters in Onslow Bay in the Atlantic Ocean, North Carolina, USA (Bacheler & Buckel 2004) found that catch rates of small groupers Serranidae spp., non-target fish species and sharks varied with hook design (circle or J), and larger hooks caught fewer non-target fish species overall, but more undersized grouper and sharks compared to other hook types, during commercial angling for grouper. Overall catch rates of 24 non-target fish species were lowest with the two largest hook types (12: 3 fish/day, 9: 4 fish/day) than the smallest two (7 and 5: 9 fish/day). Catch rates of sharks increased with increasing hook size and were lowest at the smallest hook size (1 shark/day) than the other hook sizes/types (2–3 sharks/day). Catches of small individuals (<50.8 cm) of six targeted grouper species were higher for the largest J-shaped hook (1 grouper/day) than any of the other three hook types (<1 fish/day), however the authors note that this may be due to the small sample sizewhile there were no differences for large groupers across all hook types (6–8 fish/day). In addition, the incidence of gut-hooked fish (higher odds of post-release mortality) was lower for non-target species with the two largest hooks compared to the smallest, and for groupers was lower with the circle hook compared to the three J-shaped hooks (data reported as statistical results). Twenty fishing trips were carried out 20–60 miles offshore from May–August 2003 (12–42 m depth). Four rods were used simultaneously, each with one of four randomly allocated hook sizes/types (5/0, 7/0, 9/0 J hooks or a 12/0 circle hook), baited with frozen fish. All fish landed were identified, counted and fish length measured, and the hook location recorded.

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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