Friday, May 27, 2011

To reduce bycatch, think like a fish -

Quoted from

To reduce bycatch, think like a fish -

By Lisa Duchene, SeafoodSource contributing editor
26 May, 2011 - To help fishing boats harvest primarily their target catch and minimal amounts of bycatch, it helps to think like a fish. When haddock encounter a net, they tend to swim up into the water column and slowly drift back into the net. Codfish, on the other hand, tend to swim toward the bottom.

Knowing how these two intermingling groundfish species, valuable sources of the whitefish supply, behave differently was critical to the design of a net known in New England as “the Eliminator,” or the Ruhle Trawl, which is engineered with smaller mesh at the top to snag the haddock and huge, eight-foot mesh at the bottom to allow cod to escape.

In testing tows on Georges Bank, the Eliminator caught 83 percent fewer codfish than a conventional net.