Acoustic Height Control for Trawl Doors

PI: Clifford Goudey, MIT Sea Grant, Robert Damus, MIT Sea Grant, Christopher Glass, Manomet Observatory, Gary Loverich, Applied Fish Gear Technologies

Project Number:2006-RD-32

Start Date:2006-03-01End Date:2009-02-28

Websitehttp://seagrant.mit.edu/media/cfer/Autodoor_poster_final.jpg

Proposal Summary

Trawling- the most common type of commercial fishing - involves nets being towed across the seafloor. Conventional trawl doors result in substantial contact with the sea bottom, which can have negative effects on marine habitats. In this project, the researchers are developing and testing a method of trawl door height control to allow the harvest of demersal species on or close to the bottom with a trawl system that has no bottom contact. The system will be tested in the northern shrimp fishery of the Gulf of Maine and the haddock fishery on Georges Bank. The introduction of such new trawl doors could allow fishing for plentiful species in areas currently closed because of bycatch or habitat concerns.

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