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Fisheries Behavioral Ecology - Abstracts

Stoner, A.W. and S.M. Kaimmer. 2008. Reducing elasmobranch bycatch: laboratory investigation of rare earth metal and magnetic deterrents with spiny dogfish and Pacific halibut.  Fisheries Research 92:162-168.


Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthius) comprises a significant unwanted bycatch on demersal longlines set for halibut and cod in shelf waters of the east and west coasts of North America. In this laboratory study, attacks on baits were tested in the presence of two different rare earth materials (neodymium–iron–boride magnets and cerium mischmetal) believed to deter elasmobranch catch. Experiments were made with spiny dogfish and with Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in pairwise tests of the rare earth materials and inert metal controls. Dogfish attacked and consumed baits tested with cerium mischmetal at a lower frequency than controls. Times to attack the baits were significantly higher in the presence of mischmetal, as were numbers of approaches before first attack. The time differential between mischmetal and control treatments and the number of baits consumed converged with increasing food deprivation (1 h, 2 d, and 4 d), but treatment differences were always significant. Cerium mischmetal appeared to be irritating to dogfish and may disrupt their bait detection and orientation abilities. Magnets also appeared to irritate dogfish but provided no protection for baits in feeding trials. Pacific halibut showed no reaction whatsoever to the rare earth magnets or cerium mischmetal. Mischmetal, therefore, may be useful in reducing spiny dogfish bycatch in the halibut fishery. Disadvantages in using mischmetal in commercial operations are expense, hazardous nature, and relatively rapid hydrolysis in seawater.


Last updated 31 March, 2009

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