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EU project: Searching for exotics in the shrimp nets
Date:3/28/2012

So far the shrimp fisherman Uwe Abken has had little interest in the bycatch in his nets. But recently the fisherman from the East Friesian town of Neuharlingersiel has been taking a closer look. The fisherman and his deck hand have been recording which North Sea exotics and rare migratory fish get caught in their shrimp nets for the biologist Kai Wtjen from the German Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association. This is a project with model character because fishermen, scientists and the environment benefit from the results.

Does the fish have a tiny spot behind its gills or is the spot missing? This will be the all important difference when shrimp fisherman Uwe Abken from the East Friesian town of Neuharlingersiel goes out on the North Sea to catch shrimps at the end of March with his cutter POLARIS. Because Abken and his deck hand Daniel Ahrens have agreed to examine their catch for rare fish species. The inquiry came from Kai Wtjen, Biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association. Together with the Verband der kleinen Hochsee- und Kstenfischerei im Landesfischereiverband Weser-Ems he is participating in the EU project GAP 2 (www.gap2.eu) the objective of which is to bring together fishermen and science to develop a sustainable fishing strategy. For this reason Kai Wtjen went fishing with Uwe Abken and another fisherman several times last autumn to get to know their everyday work and then develop a monitoring programme which is exactly tailored to suit the work rhythm of the fishermen.

Fifteen names of species are on the list prepared by Kai Wtjen for the shrimp fishermen: these include Red List calibres such as salmon and sea trout but also the lesser known representatives of the European Flora and Fauna Habitat Directive such as the allis shad, lamprey or twait shad the herring-like species characterised by the
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Contact: Sina Lschke
medien@awi.de
49-047-148-312-008
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

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