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Unread 03/10/2007, 07:09 PM   #114
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Townsville, (on the Great Barrier Reef)
Posts: 355
The thing about prawn trawling is that it's quite non selective. All of those little fish are doomed once they are in the nets, but we let all the big (or still kicking) stuff go after it was weighed and measured. The point of our trip was to test devices that reduce bycatch. It's relatively easy to exclude large things with good swimming ability from the catch, but separating out prawns and fish that are almost the same in size and swimming ability is almost impossible.
The best solution i've seen so far is the use of hopper tanks. These are huge tubs of sea water on the back deck, and all the nets are emptied into them and the end of the trawl. The prawns tend to sink to the bottom, and the fish swim around at the surface of mid water, so you just have to skim the fish off leaving the prawns behind and sending most things back alive.

My little coral beauty is all the things i was told it wasn't be! It's very outgoing, nips around all over the tank, will fight the chromis for flakes at meal times, and has done a fine job at reducing the algae in the tank. The little guy is always picking at the rocks, even though he feeds aggressively twice a day. Oh, and he looks fantastic!

There's an place on an island near me where the zonation plan allows for "collecting" which means no more than 5 of any species, but you can collect them. Which is fantastic for me.
I'll post images of the resulting corals next week.

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