DV-08-016 Technology transfer of the dual grate system to the Northern shrimp fishery
Ken La Valley
New Hampshire Sea Grant
219 Nesmith Hall
131 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824
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Northern shrimp stocks are healthy, but due to historic declines and market volatility, regional shore-side infrastructure (i.e., processing facilities) is reduced. To compete in this market, fishermen have tried to improve quality and consistency to both increase local demand for fresh product and obtain higher prices for their catch. Since larger shrimp fetch the highest price, fishermen are targeting catches of larger shrimp, while striving to eliminate the bycatch and discard of non-target fish. The dual-grid system and the non-parallel grate are two strategies that have been shown to significantly enhance size selectivity of shrimp and reduce the catch of non-target species. Sea Grant partnered with the National Marine Fisheries Service to fund the manufacture of 10 non-parallel grates and six dual-grid sets for the industry. As a result, 20 industry members (as opposed to two who used it in the 2005-2006 fishing season) acquired new gear and approximately 15% of vessels using shrimp trawls used the conservation gear in 2008.
Ken La Valley and his research team at New Hampshire Sea Grant/Cooperative Extension anticipate that, as the market demand for local shrimp increases, shore-side processing facilities will return and all gear that was provided, in part, by this project will be used in future shrimp seasons.