Utilization of finfishes caught incidental to shrimp trawling in the Western Gulf of Mexico. Part 1: Evaluation of markets.
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This study evaluates the nature of the markets potentially available for incidentally-caught trawl fish and estimates potential volumes which could be marketed. Identification of potential markets was accomplished by determining the magnitude and composition of trawl fish. Most trawl fish are less than one pound live weight and the majority of them belonged to the sciaenid family (black drum, croaker, and seatrouts); longspine porgy is the most numerous species. As yet there is no precise estimate on the amount of fish discarded in the Western Gulf of Mexico, but it lies somewhere between 52 and 368 million pounds. The common fishing concept of harvesting only prime species currently in demand and discarding the rest is a firmly established institutional pattern which hinders the development and utilization of other available species.