Piloting a Novel Dredge Type to Reduce Bycatch and Improve Fuel efficiency in the Southern New England Scallop Fishery

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general description:

This project seeks to pilot a new type of dredge in the Southern New England limited access general category (LACG) and limited access (LA) sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) fisheries to reduce bycatch, minimize habitat impacts, and improve fuel efficiency. The “N-Viro Dredge” was designed in Scotland in response to pressure from government and environmental groups to reduce bycatch and sea floor impacts in the king scallop (Pecten maximus) and queen scallop (Aequipecten opercularis) fisheries. The N-Viro dredge has proven to be a successful tool in helping to mitigate the effects of the commercial scallop fleet on bycatch and benthic habitat and scallop F/Vs have incrementally switched from their Newhaven style dredges to N-Viro dredges as they realize the economic benefits to their businesses and the scallop resources.

project goals:

  1. Installation and operation of the N-Viro dredge on LAGC and LA scallop F/Vs to assess commercial feasibility.

  2. Paired tows to quantify the scallop catch efficiency, bycatch rates, and fuel usage of the N-Viro dredge in comparison to traditional New Bedford style, Provincetown style, and turtle-deflector dredges.

Project team:

  • Christopher Glass, PhD, Executive Director, CFRF

  • Timothy Sheehan, Owner, Gulf of Maine, Inc.

  • Michael Marchetti, Owner/Operator, F/V Mister G & F/V Captain Robert, Point Judith, RI

  • Christopher Roebuck, Owner/Operator, F/V Karen Elizabeth & F/V Yankee Pride, Point Judith, RI

data collection strategies:

Project timeline:

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