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    Stewardship Tips: Catch and Release Nets

    By Anna | July 22, 2014

    Have you converted yet?

    Knot free nets are available in all sizes and price ranges.

    Knot free nets, also known as catch and release nets, use a rubber or synthetic mesh. By virtue of its smooth surface, a knot free net can help to prevent injuries to the fins and protective mucous on a fish’s scales.

    In 2004, the Fisheries Division of the Northern Territory of Australia published a study that compared knotted landing nets with those constructed of tightly meshed, nylon-coated PVC. The authors found that, while knotted nets tended to do a better job of subduing fish, they did so by trapping the fish’s extremities in the mesh; this ultimately led to significant injuries to both the fins and bodies of the fish.

    The smooth mesh of a knot free net is less abrasive. This reduces not only the chances of damage to the mucous and scales; it also reduces the chances that a fish’s fins will get caught in the mesh. This is important as the scales and mucous layers combine to help protect the fish from damage and reduce the risk of infection. Any loss of either type of protection can have a detrimental effect on the fish including an increased risk of mortality. By reducing the risks associated with injury, the fish that we release ultimately stand a better chance to survive and fight another day.

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