|Jayson Driscoll (FV Sweet Misery, Rye, NH) has been working with the experimental gillnets|
Beginning in the next few weeks, New Hampshire gillnet fishermen will be testing the effectiveness of gillnets raised 4’ off the bottom to reduce the catch of cod while maintaining a profitable catch of other, more abundant, species. These nets have shown promise for doing just that, and testing this year will expand the test-nets to more realistic conditions.
Two test nets have been constructed, each with five experimental 300’ strings raised 4’ off the sea-bed and five 300’ standard strings not raised off the seabed.
The New Hampshire fishermen will share the experimental gear within New Hampshire’s Groundfish Sectors XI and XII during the experiment. The fishermen are waiting for the fall, when greater numbers of fish should be around to test the relative selectivity of the standard and experimental nets.
This project is paired with a similar effort out of Port Clyde, ME that also will be testing the alternative gillnet design.
It’s certainly been a busy and challenging fishing season, but these, and other projects offer a glimpse of the innovative and resilient spirit that is echoed throughout the Northeast. Return here to track the progress of these and other GEARNET projects!