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    Analysis of scientific observer data from the Saga Sea 2006–2007

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    P. Orr, J. Hooper, D. Agnew, J. Roe, G. Doherty and A. Pryor
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    UK observers were present during all fishing operations of the Norwegian flagged Saga Sea from June 2006 to June 2007. This paper presents an initial analysis of the krill and fish bycatch sampled. Although a reasonably large number of continuous and conventional trawls were undertaken, the distribution of these trawls in time and space was not random. The vessel tended to fish with one trawl type for a number of weeks or months before changing, for operational reasons to the other type. This did not create an ideal sampling environment for comparing the performance of the two types of trawls. There did not appear to be a consistent difference between the size of krill caught by conventional and continuous trawls deployed by the Saga Sea. Sampling of larval fish was unfortunately not sufficiently comprehensive to allow a robust analysis of larval fish bycatch data. However, the results to date suggest that catch rates of larval fish on the Saga Sea are similar to those reported for conventional trawls.