More habitat-friendly fishing for the Barents | WWF

More habitat-friendly fishing for the Barents

Posted on
27 September 2017
Researchers in Russia are looking for ways to reduce the negative impact of bottom trawl fishing gear on ecosystems. Current bottom trawl models scrape and plow the seabed, destroying habitat in their wake. Because the trawl fleet is the backbone of northwestern Russia's fishing industry, however, a full trawling ban is highly unlikely. With the support of WWF, researchers set out to make trawls safer for marine habitats.

Following two years of work, the newly designed trawl is ready for testing. In addition to special rigging and operation modes that will reduce seabed damage, the new design also has less drag, thus requiring less fuel consumption.

This summer, research boats in the Barents and beyond are refining a miniature version of the experimental trawl. If all goes well, a full-sized rig will be built and tested by researchers next summer.

Original article in Russian