Increasing the volume of mesh in the side wing panels of its trawls has paid off for Swan Net Gundry’s customers, and the response to these trawl designs for herring, mackerel and horse mackerel fisheries has been highly positive.
The design is intended to reduce the likelihood of fish escaping through the side panels of the gear and extending the mesh used in the side sections closes off this escape route without altering the trawl’s opening.
The gaps in the side wing area can vary in length, ranging from 30m up to 250m and SNG have addressed this with the design of two versions using the new ‘closed sides’ concept – one for pair trawling and the other for single trawling. For pair teams the SNG trawls are designed with the side wing panels filled out with extra mesh and finished with a short side rope which still allows the trawl to have the standard conventional finish.
For single trawling, SNG have filled out the side wing panels with the extra mesh but also with the wing-end finish designed to incorporate attaching two extra bridles, changing the bridle rig from two to four bridles each side, closing the sides of the trawls all the way along to reduce the area of potential escape for fish.
The two options above can be used in either single or pairing as pair trawl teams can see the benefits with using the extra bridles in their standard setup will still remain user-friendly when passing over the lug ends of the bridles from one vessel to the other.
With this year’s albacore tuna season to start soon, SNG will have a combination of new trawls and modified trawls with this new design concept, which SNG believes will demonstrate significant improvements in trawl performance and catch rates.