Mortality of Asterias rubens and Ophiura ophiura discarded in the Nephrops fishery of the Clyde Sea area, Scotland


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mbergmann [ at ] awi-bremerhaven.de

Abstract

The Clyde Sea Nephrops fishery produces large amounts of invertebrate discards. Of these, up to 80% (by numbers) are echinoderms, including the starfishAsterias rubens and the brittlestar Ophiura ophiura. The short- and longer-term mortality of these species was determined after trawling in order to gain reliableestimates of trawl-induced mortality. Short-term mortality was assessed after trawling and periods of aerial exposure on deck, and ranged from 0-31%, with A.rubens showing lower mortality. Mortality of haphazardly collected echinoderms of various sizes and degrees of damage was monitored over one month todetermine longer-term mortality. The effects of injury on starfish survival were also examined, as were the effects of trawling and aerial exposure on O. ophiurasurvival and A. rubens righting time. Injured A. rubens had a significantly higher long-term mortality (22-96%) than controls (4%). Trawling and aerial exposuresignificantly increased righting times of A. rubens, implying susceptibility to stress and an increased risk of predation. Moribund A. rubens developed white lesionscontaining bacteria (Vibrio metschnikovii and Acinetobacter sp.) and mortality rates only stabilised in the third week after trawling. In contrast, all trawled O. ophiuradied within 14d. Immediate re-immersion in sea water resulted in lower, but nevertheless high, mortality (91%). Our results suggest that post-trawling mortality ofdiscarded echinoderms has been underestimated in the past.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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10386
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Bergmann, M. and Moore, P. G. (2001): Mortality of Asterias rubens and Ophiura ophiura discarded in the Nephrops fishery of the Clyde Sea area, Scotland , ICES Journal of Marine Science, 58 , pp. 531-542 .


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