HC Deb 12 January 2004 vol 416 cc496-7W
Ann Winterton

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the escape characteristic is that cod have for avoiding towed fishing gear. [146715]

Mr. Bradshaw

There is little published information on this in the scientific literature, but what there is, suggests that avoidance of fishing gear by cod is largely a visual response. The escape characteristic of cod will vary between day and night, with avoidance being in either a vertical or a horizontal direction. Generally, fishing gears are rigged to reduce such escapements. In the case of bottom gears, for example, the warps tend to reduce the horizontal movement of fish and the headline is forward of the foot rope to reduce vertical escapement.