Technical Report

Utilization of flatfish caught by Oregon trawlers in 1974

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  • This report deals with utilization of five species of flatfish caught in the Oregon trawl fishery for human food. Utilized fish are those kept and marketed (saleable) from the total catch. Discarded fish are small flatfish and unmarketable species. Herrmann and Harry (1963} reported nearly half the catch was of negligible value and was discarded at sea, including all species caught. Since fishery statis­tics are readily available only for marketed {landed) fish, utilization rates are a means of converting landed catch to the catch at sea (discarded and kept). Also a realistic model of the fishery should reflect the effects of discard since discards are a part of fishing mortality. In the summer of 1974 sampling at sea was undertaken to estimate utilization rates. The objective was to determine age-specific utilization rates by sex, for the following flatfish species: Dover sole, English sole, petrale sole, rex sole, and Pacific sanddab. Similar sampling has been done previously. Herrmann (unpublished FCO data) established a data base for discard of petrale, English and Dover sole, based on unsexed length frequencies from 1959-61. However, gear changes and the need for more sophisticated data severely limit the usefulness of that data. Hernnann and Harry {op cit.) described the composition of catches prior to sorting, aboard trawlers in 1950.
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