Bycatch and Trawl Efficiency

Rarely do fishers from around the country get together in one room and talk about how trawl gear can be adapted to suit fishing conditions and to exclude unwanted species  however representatives from all prawn fishing jurisdictions met at a workshop in Sydney in February to do just that. The purpose of the workshop was to provide a forum for researchers to present the results of recent trawl efficiency and bycatch reduction research and to  investigate future bycatch and trawl efficiency needs. Trawl gear experts tabled many new innovations with everything from the number of rigs, new BRDs and their positions and angles in the net, mesh size, net taper, otter boards, sweeps and the use of lights being discussed.

There was unanimous agreement at the workshop that existing knowledge/technologies needs to be disseminated across our fisheries rather than new research being commissioned at this point.  The  ACPF has therefore initiated an extension project for a series of meetings to be held in prawn fisheries around Australia. At this stage, meetings will be scheduled to take place in  Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, Bundaberg, Yamba, Newcastle, Adelaide,  Port Lincoln, Exmouth Gulf and Shark’s Bay. Trawl gear experts, some of who are also experienced skippers, will attend these meetings to work with fishers on available technologies and to assist industry to develop work plans for industry trials of trawl gear and bycatch technologies for each fishery as appropriate.

Any fisher is welcome to tell us what you would like to see trialled to improve catch efficiency. As we head into the series of proposed bycatch and trawl efficiency workshops we’re all ears.  Email

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