Pulse fishing

Scientists and fishing businesses are looking for more sustainable methods for catching flatfish and shrimp, and are therefore experimenting with pulse trawling. this method involves replacing the tickler chains by electrodes that emit electric pulses - the pulse trawl. Wageningen University & Research investigates the advantages and disadvantages of pulse fishing for marine ecosystems and the economy.

What is pulse fishing?

The traditional beam-trawl fishery for flatfish uses so-called tickler chains to startle fish like common sole and plaice and make them leap into the net. The chains are dragged over the seabed, disturbing the sediment and causing mortality of organisms in the trawl track. In the fishery using the pulse technique, the tickler chains have been replaced by electric pulses to make the flatfish leap into the net.

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Why is pulse fishing research important?

European regulations prohibit the use of electricity in marine fisheries. Fishers who use the pulse gear are currently fishing based on a derogation. As part of the decision-making process on whether or not to allow pulse fisheries, the impacts of the gear on the ecosystem will have to be investigated.