discussion / Marine Conservation  / 9 April 2020

Minimising habitat impact of trawling gear

Hi all,

There's a lot of innovation out there to minimise species impacts of midwater fishing gear (e.g. turtle excluder devices and other net escape panels, acoustic/light deterrents for mammals etc.), but there seems to be much less tech focus on trying to reduce bottom-towed fishing gear contact with the seabed and therefore impact on marine habitats. 

Innovations I'm interested in could be partial (i.e. ways to make trawl nets contact the seabed less) or fundamental (i.e. different means of extracting the target species at scale that involve no seabed contact). NB I'm particularly interested in inshore bottom trawling fisheries in the tropics, which are mostly focussed on harvesting shrimp. 

Hope to hear any interesting avenues to explore!



Have you seen the designs for a lightweight shrimp trawl developed for use in the Upper Gulf of California to reduce bycatch of Vaquita?

There's a wing trawling system that was developed: https://www.facebook.com/wingtrawlingsystem/

I saw the presentation at a recent Ocean Exchange webcast (https://www.oceanexchange.org/webcast-library/2/)