Reducing Cod Bycatch with New Trawl Nets

Struggling to avoid cod and haddock? We have a free net for you.

We know that with low available quota, Atlantic cod and haddock are creating problems for fishermen looking to maximize their revenues. With the help of local fishermen, we developed a new trawling net called the ultra-low-opening trawl (ULOT) which simultaneously avoids catching cod and haddock without compromising landings of flatfish and other abundant commercial species. You can apply for one of these nets for free, today, and we'll even pay you an additional $6,000 to use it. Application deadline: December 31, 2023.

A fisherman hauls up a net full of fish.

Why apply for the ULOT net? You'll get:

  • A customized ULOT net designed specifically for your vessel, worth $10,000.
  • An additional $6,000 for your participation.
  • Increased revenue from a net proven to reduce cod and haddock bycatch while maintaining or improving catch of flounders and monkfish.
  • The opportunity to contribute to collaborative science and gear innovation.

"The ULOT will drastically reduce those round species while retaining 100% flat species and monkfish. In my own experience I believe I caught more flatfish and monkfish using the ULOT.

Dan Murphy Commercial Fisherman, F/V Tribiah Lee

Apply for the free ULOT net

Apply for a fully customized ULOT net specifically designed for your vessel. You'll be able to keep and use the net, and we will also pay you an additional $6,000 to use it. Application deadline: December 31, 2023.

A trawling net is hauling fish out of the water.
a picture of the ULOT net
The modified ULOT net, ready to be deployed.
A net is being tested in a flume tank.

Expected Impacts:

  • A groundfish fleet equipped with the best possible trawling gear for optimized performance.
  • Refined development of the ULOT, finely tuned by commercial fishers under commercial conditions.
  • Confirmation that the ULOT significantly reduces catches of overfished Atlantic cod and haddock, and maintains catches of abundant flatfish species.
  • Confirmation of the economic benefits of using the ULOT and the potential to increase fishing time, including greater utilization of existing flatfish quota and reduced risk of fishers having to cease or curtail fishing activity because they have no remaining cod quota or cannot source additional cod quota.
This is a graphic depicting two nets with different designs, and it shows how some fish avoid one better than the other.
The graphic depicts how the ULOT net takes advantage of cod behavior to limit bycatch.

Project Team

Questions or comments? Contact GMRI Senior Research Associate Aaron Whitman.

Read More