In recent years, collaborations between
fishermen and scientists have resulted in reduced environmental
impacts and greater selectivity, for many types of fishing gear.
Quality of landed fish remains a high priority, for fishermen,
distributors and consumers alike. The use of trap gear to catch fish
is one more stage in the evolution of the industry, and these issues
have come together in a project funded through the Cluster Grant
Program of the Maine Technology Institute (www.mainetechnology.org).
Local fishermen Proctor Wells of
Phippsburg, and Vincent Balzano, of Saco, are leading the fishing
trials. Sue Inches, Director of Industry Development for the Maine
Dept. of Marine Resources (www.state.me.us/dmr),
is the author of the grant and the project coordinator. Dana Morse,
Extension Associate for Maine Sea Grant and UMaine Cooperative
Extension, is acting as staff scientist and outreach coordinator.
Captains Wells and Balzano have lead the way in Maine on the subject
of trapping live fish in recent years, and have helped to create
successful collaborations for industry, science and management.
Fishing activities are taking place
aboard Capt. Wells' F/V Tenacious, and Capt. Balzano's F/V North Star.
Several trap designs are being tested, as well as observations on the
effects of depth, soak time, temperature, and other conditions. A
sister project is also underway, under the direction of Dr. Pingguo
He, of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension (www.ceinfo.unh.edu).
An important aspect of both projects is better understanding of the
behavior of fish near the pots, especially that of cod, haddock and
To that end, project participants are
also teaming with Dr. Chris Glass of the Manomet Center for
Conservation Sciences (www.manomet.org),
and Cliff Goudey, of MIT Sea Grant (www.web.mit.edu/seagrant).
The expertise of these researchers will help to gather and interpret
behavior data, through the use of specialized underwater camera
An informative story was written in the
May edition of the publication 'Collaborations', by Michael Crocker of
the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance.
here to read the May 2003 edition of Collaborations, featuring the
fish trapping project."
To view this downloadable file, visit
their website at www.namanet.org.
For more information on this project, contact Dana Morse, at
207.563.3146 x 205, or via email: Dana.Morse@maine.edu