Building on Promise

Building on Promise: Continued investigation in using a 4-seam bottom trawl to improve escapement of small haddock and cod.

This collaborative research project is a product of an idea from the late Stanley Coffin, a fisherman from Edgecomb, and Kelo Pinkham, a fisherman from Boothbay. The goal of the project is to modify a trawl net so that it improves escapement of small cod and haddock, and is a follow-up to some promising preliminary work done in 2004. We will examine the effects of using a 4-seam bottom trawl having 6″ hexagonal mesh in the side panels, as measured against a more standard net that has 6″ diamond mesh in the side panels. It is hoped that the hex mesh will allow small cod and haddock to escape, and still have good catching ability for market-sized individuals. Since cod and haddock are important groundfish stocks in the Gulf of Maine multi-species complex, preserving the upcoming generations is of concern to fishermen, biologists, managers, and conservationists alike. Field trials are scheduled to begin in the spring of 2007.