2007 haddock workshop: Recent advances in haddock separation technology
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2007 haddock workshop: Recent advances in haddock separation technology

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  • NOAA Program & Office:
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    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in 2005 implemented a pilot Eastern U.S./Canada Area Haddock Special Access Program (SAP) for the limited access Northeast multispecies fleet that required the use of a haddock separator trawl. The separator trawl gear mandate was employed to reduce fishing mortality on a stock of concern, Georges Bank cod, while allowing access to other relatively healthy stocks, particularly Georges Bank haddock. This mandate was initiated through a trawl workshop held at the NMFS Northeast Regional Office that solicited input from fisheries researchers with a range of trawl gear expertise and identified gear that could be used to minimize the capture of cod. This meeting concluded that, if used properly, haddock separator trawl gear could substantially reduce the amount of cod caught while maintaining commercial catch rates of haddock. Currently, a haddock separator trawl that employs a horizontal separation panel is the only type of trawl gear that can be used in the SAP. Over recent years, seven cooperative gear research projects have been conducted or are underway to test haddock separator trawls with horizontal separation panels as well as to develop other types of trawl gear modified to target haddock and reduce cod catch. A workshop was held at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to discuss and evaluate these gears for applicability in the Northeast multispecies trawl fishery. The objectives of the workshop were to: identify current haddock separator strategies; discuss the current state of the technology (limitations, data analyses, future research); recommend appropriate methods as "industry ready" for pilot testing by commercial fishermen; identify topic-specific research needs.
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