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New trawl design reduces unwanted catches

8 years ago | Written by

The prototype trawl, which is the brainchild of fishing skipper Jimmy Buchan and netmaker Mark Buchan of Jackson Trawls, is designed to aid North Sea prawn fishermen comply with new Landing Obligation regulations.Skipper Jimmy Buchan said: “Innovation never stops nor should it. We are entering a new era in fisheries management where fishermen are challenged to find new and better ways to harvest the sea.”“This gear trial is part of the outward focus in finding workable solutions that are acceptable to all stakeholders and where fishermen can continue to fish responsibly. Much work has yet to be done but early indications are showing promising results,” he added.Working in a project supported by the Gear Innovation Technology and Advisory Group (GITAG), initial trials on board the fishing vessel Amity II resulted in a significant drop in the volume of unwanted whitefish retained without any reduction in the prawn catch. Furthermore, the quality of the prawns was noticeably better compared with those caught in traditional trawls.The new design features an inclined panel which separates fish from the prawns within the trawl. The fish are directed upwards with many escaping through large meshes in the top part of the net, whilst the prawns catch is retained in the bottom section of the trawl.GITAG was formed in 2015 after the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation’s subsidiary company SFF Services Ltd secured funding from Marine Scotland to develop and trial innovative solutions aimed at reducing the volume of discards.GITAG works with key partners including industry, Marine Scotland Policy, Marine Scotland Science, Producer Organisations, the Scottish Industry Discards Initiative and Seafish to promote and encourage innovation from the fishing industry as a whole - See more at:


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