How to prevent gigacatches

Two SINTEF scientists, Eduardo Grimaldo and Manu Sistiaga, have developed a prototype midwater trawl whose codend automatically closes when it is sufficiently full. It then partially separates from the main part of the trawl, allowing the rest of the fish to escape back into the sea before the net is hauled on board.

The idea is to avoid excessively large hauls so as not to end up with handling or safety problems due to overproduction of fish on board. The new system has just been tested in the Syltefjord in Finnmark, northern Norway, with promising results.