Scottish fishermen invent new prawn nets
SCOTTISH fishermen have devised prawn nets which are set to drastically reduce the level of discards.
Sea trials of the new catching gear have cut the level of fish having to be dumped at sea as unwanted bycatch by up to 70 per cent, according to the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.
Bertie Armstrong, the federation’s chief executive, said that, frustrated by European Commission bureaucracy and the annual implementation of “totally inappropriate and restrictive regulations”, Scottish fishermen had adopted a pro-active response.
One of the new nets has been dubbed the “flip-flap” trawl and was designed by Gamrie Bay Prawn Trawls in Aberdeenshire. It features an inclined panel inside the trawl with a loose flap at the bottom. The majority of cod and other roundfish are directed up the panel and out through an escape hole while prawns move along the bottom section and into the back of the trawl.
Another design works on a similar principle and has been developed by Faithlie Trawl in Fraserburgh.
Mr Armstrong said: “Essentially, we have developed a ‘bottom up’ approach to fisheries management, where we produce the ideas and the innovation for the EC to accept.”
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