In May of 2005, two fishermen from Port-de-Grave approached CCFI and the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources (C-SAR-MI) to investigate the possibility of adapting the technology required to allow their enterprise to harvest Atlantic mackerel using a mid-water trawl. Presently, the enterprise holds a license to harvest mackerel using a purse seine, but would like to switch gear types that would allow harvesting to take place further offshore if required. Using a mid-water trawl would also allow for a more direct method of chasing and catching the target species.
In June of this year a meeting of the Newfoundland fishermen, CCFI and C-SAR staff was arranged at the Marine Institute with a gear manufacturer from Gloucester, MA and a fisherman from Ireland who has fished mackerel for many years. The meeting was very beneficial to everyone involved. The purpose of this project is to conduct a technology transfer visit to Gloucester to assess the fishing methods used in the eastern U.S. and how they could be adapted to the <65 ft. fleet in Newfoundland. The proponents will participate in sea trails during a commercial trip targeting Atlantic mackerel. A fishing gear technologist from MI will also travel to Gloucester to assist in the project.