Development of an Ecosystem Friendly Scallop Dredge Bag

Standard links (left) vs. extended links (right)

Standard links (left) vs. extended links (right)

Project Title: Development of Ecosystem Friendly Scallop Dredge Bags: Tools for Long-Term Sustainability

Year: 2016

Principle Investigators: Farrell Davis, Chris Parkins, Melissa Campbell

Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program

The goal of the project is to develop an alternative gear design to reduce the impact of fishing effort on pre-recruit scallops. The project will utilize six 7-day research trips to test an extended link apron, adding two consecutive links between the 4 inch rings in the vertical and horizontal direction. Extended link design increases inter-ring spacing of the apron encouraging the mechanical sorting of pre-recruit scallops. Gear testing will take place in the Mid-Atlantic and Nantucket Lightship scallop rotational access areas, particularly in areas with high abundances of harvestable scallops found in combination with pre-recruit scallops.