Trawl Survey Net Modification Experiment Under Way

Man Doing Research on Fishing Boat

ROSA Research Director Mike Pol and other members of the Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel (NTAP) are engaged in an experiment on the F/V Darana R, Jimmy and Bobby Ruhle’s vessel, exploring a modification to trawl survey nets that could help standardize studies in offshore wind energy areas.

By restricting net spread, a cable between the trawl doors could standardize the area swept by the net, but might also affect fish escape behavior (as they see or sense the cable). The experiment, led by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Northeast Fishery Science Center Cooperative Research Branch, is comparing species and fish lengths caught in a net with and without the cable.

Mike co-authored an article in the December issue of the scientific journal Fisheries Research on the effect of net wing spread on the catchability of a number of species. He was also quoted in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries article highlighting the project.