In May 2003, C-SAR and CCFI conducted preliminary sea trials in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to identify any vertical distribution trends 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 nine 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 there. The results of the work to date conducted in 3K in 2004 and 4R in 2005 have shown that approximately 95% of the shrimp were found within 14 feet of the bottom but there was no discernable difference in average size at each level.
As a result of the findings, in February, CSAR, through funding support from CCFI, DFA and the FFAW, designed, constructed and tested a new shrimp trawl model, with a low vertical opening and a wide horizontal spread. Results from flume tank testing of the new design were very favorable. As anticipated, the profile of the new design produced significantly less bridle tension when compared to trawls typically used by this fleet and therefore has potential to reduce drag and fuel consumption.
The purpose of this project is to move to the full scale construction of the new shrimp trawl design and to conduct sea trials to determine its effectiveness. The overall objectives of this project are:
• Collect data for the trawl’s catch effectiveness;
• Measure fuel consumption.