An Experiment to Determine the Vertical Distribution of Northern Shrimp in the Lower Water Column Using a Multi Level Trawl in the Gulf Shrimp Fishery
In May of 2003, C-SAR and CCFI conducted preliminary sea trials in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to identify any vertical distribution trend of shrimp and capelin in the water column using a multi-level trawl. While limited tows were conducted, the results showed that 97% of shrimp were caught 9 feet from the seafloor and had an 18% larger average size than those caught in the other levels. The results warranted testing on the Northeast coast, to see if this trend was common in other regions. The results of the work to date conducted in 3K have shown that 88% of the shrimp were found within 14 feet of the bottom but there was no discernable difference in size.
The results of the work conducted to date point to the need to conduct further research in both of these areas to draw some conclusions regarding the vertical size-distribution of shrimp in waters of both the Northeast coast and the Gulf. The work being initiated in the Gulf as part of this project combined with the completion of the work on the Northeast coast will give us the necessary information to draw some conclusions regarding the multi-level work and guide us in the development of a new design as early as the fall of 2005.