The shrimp trawl fisheries are highly efficient in capturing target species but is an unselective gear that commonly catches untargeted organisms, which are usually discarded due to their small size or no commercial value. To understand and, eventually, mitigate the impacts of trawling on bycatch species, the whole capture should be addressed. The present study has the objective of determining the seasonal importance of the fish bycatch within shrimp trawling fishery in south Pernambuco, Sirinhaém. It also quantifies the importance of each fish caught within this fishery. Samples were collected monthly, between August 2011 and July 2012. Fish bycatch was described as % in number (%N) and weight (%W), while the seasonal abundance of the shrimp and fish bycatch was assessed based on the monthly catch rate given as the Capture Per Unit of Area (CPUA) in weight (CPUAb) and in number of individuals (CPUAn). Considering the fish bycatch, a total of 608 kg of organisms were sampled: 9,723 fish specimens from 17 families, 38 genera and 51 species. The largest CPUAb value of bycatch was observed in the months of June (488 kg.km-2), February (285 kg.km-2) and April (276 kg.km-2). The proportion target species: bycatch in weight was of 1:0.39. A clear annual cyclic pattern of the species composition of the bycatch based both CPUAn and CPUEb could be observed, following the rainfall patterns, possibly related to a higher productivity associated to river runoffs. Impacts on bycatch have been extensively reported in Brazil and around the world, with most of this bycatch being a relevant additional food source for the local community. However, basic information on bycatch from small-scale fisheries is still missing in many areas, making it difficult to identify and evaluate the management recommendations needed to sustain the resources and ecosystems.


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