Atlantic cod has been fished to commercial extinction in places, and recovery is proceeding far slower than scientists originally anticipated. If and when cod recovers enough for fisheries to commence, the gear used to fish for cod must cause minimal habitat disturbance and must be highly selective. Baited cod pots, a gear used in Alaska to harvest Pacific cod, provides one possibility for a new Atlantic cod fishery. This research evaluated numerous rigid pot designs and methods of construction. Entry funnel design became a key component to a successful cod pot. Underwater video helped determine which designs were most suitable by observing cod behavior around the experimental pots.
Results from these experiments are encouraging, and researchers have refined the pot design and released several pots for commercial testing. Interest from other Canadian provinces is also growing for use of cod pots in heir fisheries.