Many species of juvenile and small non-target fish are distributed throughout areas where fishing operations for prawns and target finfish occur. This leads to a proportion of catch being discarded.
In traditional style diamond mesh codends, the meshes run parallel with the length of the net. As catch accumulates in the net, meshes start to pull tight and close up. This reduces the ability of fish and other bycatch to utilise the mesh openings to escape.
Square mesh and T90 mesh orientations are designed to reduce the bycatch of small and juvenile fish as when square mesh and T90 oriented mesh is under tension it doesn’t pull closed like diamond oriented mesh.
Square mesh and T90 can be used to create an escape panel in an existing diamond mesh codend. Square mesh or T90 can also be used to construct an entire codend.
Square and T90 oriented panels and codends are AFMA approved bycatch reduction devices in the Northern Prawn, East Coast Deepwater Trawl, Great Australian Bight Trawl and South East Trawl fisheries.