Report of the Mesh Selection Working Group,1959-1960
In 1958 a comparative mesh selection experiment was undertaken in which research vessels from Holland, West Germany and Scotland took part. This experiment was performed in the North Sea and had as one of its primary aims the comparison of mesh selection results obtained by different vessels using different gears but otherwise using common experimental techniques. The intensive work carried out previoμsly by member countries of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and also of the International Commission for the North-west Atlantic Fisheries (ICNAF) had brought into prominence the wide variability in mesh selection experiment results and pointed to the need for a critical evaluation of the many factors contributing to such variation.
A second co-ordinated experiment was undertaken in 1959 in the Arctic, research trawlers from West Germany, Norway, England, U.S. S. R. and Scotland taking part. Among the aims of this experiment were measurement of selectivity of Arctic cod by the trawls in common use in that fishery, the measurement of the selectivity of trawls made of synthetic twines and an evaluation of the effect on results of experimental technique and other variables.
When a preliminary report on the 1959 International Arctic mesh experiment was presented to the Comparative Fishing Committee at the forty-seventh meeting of the International Council in 1959 it was resolved "That a meeting be held ... of one representative of each of the countries concerned in the International Arctic mesh selection experiment, together with others concerned in the 1958 and 1959 experiments, in order to assess the results of the Arctic experiment more fully, particularly for the purposes of the international cod stock assessment, and to introduce further standardisation in such experiments whilst trying to extract the maximum information from them for the Liaison Committee (it is hoped that the latter will include further information on the problem of the use of cod;..end covers in relation to alternating haul experiments, and on synthetic and other twine characteristics in relation to "light trawls"). To ensure the maximum international value from such a meeting it is also recommended that other countries be encouraged to send a representative". Later these terms of reference were extended to include a survey of trawl and seine cod-end mesh selection and a summary of selectivity data for the ICES area collected in the period since the preparation of the report of the Ad Hoc Committee established at the Fourth Meeting of the Permanent Commission, September 1955