Bycatch Reduction in the Small-Mesh Squid Fishery

This 2003 video details research conducted by the Division of Marine Fisheries to limit the bycatch of scup and other marine species in the small-mesh trawl fishery for Loligo squid. Over the years several trawl gear modifications were tested in the waters of Nantucket Sound for their ability to limit the catch of these bycatch species. Results from the work accomplished this far have exhibited that certain gear modifications can reduce scup regulatory discards and other marine species. This video was produced by Division of Marine Fisheries biologist Mark Szymanski.

Achieving Lower Cod Discards in the Northeast Multispecies Trawl Fishery

This 2002 video describes two trawl nets tested by the MarineFisheries Conservation Engineering program designed to reduce bycatch and discard of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in the New England groundfishery. The topless and Ribas designs allow the escape of cod through the top of the net. Underwater footage includes cod rising as the net approaches them. Deck footage shows differences in bycatch between paired tows with a standard net design. Results presented show 71-87% reductions in cod catch rates (lb/hr) for both nets with additional large reductions in catches of sublegal yellowtail and winter flounders. This video was produced by Division of Marine Fisheries biologist Vincent J. Manfredi.

Releasing Sub-Legal Cod in the Demersal Longline Fishery

This 2002 video details how a typical demersal longline fishing vessel sets and hauls gear.  In the process of hauling the gear, sub-legal fish including cod (Gadus morhua) are caught along with market sized fish.  In the past, sub-legal fish were "snubbed" off the hook, which means the hook was pulled by the hauling gear while the fish was blocked.  "Snubbing" fish resulted in severe trauma to the mouth region, usually resulting in a broken jaw. This kind of wounding may lead to the increase of low post-release survival rates. A fisherman developed a technique which minimizes the initial damage, therefore increasing survival in sub-legal fish. This video depicts the release method developed and used by this fisherman.  Also, some scenes have been slowed down in order to teach others how to utilize this technique. Some fish were netted to see if there was any visible damage on the fish after this method was applied. This video was produced by Division of Marine Fisheries Staff.

Expanding the Use of the Sweepless Raised Footrope Trawl in the Whiting Fishery

This 2003 video shows the advantages of a sweepless raised footrope trawl over a standard raised footrope trawl. Footage collected from both sea-sampling trips and a flume tank, from the Marine Institute at Memorial University in Newfoundland, show how this net design became management's new tool which helped re-establish a fishery for whiting. This video was produced by Division of Marine Fisheries biologist Mark Szymanski.