Catching Haddock with Less Bottom Contact

ROSA Research Director Mike Pol and Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Biologist David Chosid teamed with Long Island fisherman Mark Phillips from 2017-2019 to develop and test two trawl nets on Georges Bank that fish off the sea floor and catch haddock. The trawls tested both used “helix” twine – a new type of net twine with a rib that creates spreading forces. With the trawl doors also off-bottom, the nets were designed to fish about 3 ft from the sea floor, close enough to catch haddock but high enough to avoid cod and other on-bottom fish. Chosid and Pol’s scientific paper on one of the nets was recently published reporting on successful catches of haddock with lower bycatch than a Ruhle trawl. A report on both nets is also available. Both designs offer the promise of cleaner catches of haddock with less bottom contact, but both require more attention and adjustment than conventional bottom trawls.