Steerable trawl doors that reduce bottom contact and improve fuel efficiency (39785) (STEER)

Project Details


MLD have developed a patented steerable trawl door that can be used in both pelagic and demersal fisheries. In pelagic fisheries, they permit fishermen to respond quickly to the presence and movement of fish shoals. It means that skippers can deploy their gears more quickly and have precise control over a trawls location in the water column. Thus, fish can be followed and caught more easily, resulting in targeted and shorter fishing operations, improved efficiency and reduced fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 and NOX gases.In demersal fisheries, this technology ensures that trawl door maintain a constant height above the seabed and hence do not come into contact with it. This reduces the physical impact that towed gears have on the seabed and hence reduces their direct environmental impact. In addition, it reduces fishing gear drag and, as above, improves efficiency and reduces fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 and NOX gases.At present MLD have a 12m2 working prototype steerable trawl door that can be used by large (> 40 m) vessels in the pelagic sprat and the demersal sandeel industrial fisheries. In order to realise the full potential of the MLD steerable trawl door technology it is necessary to develop a much smaller size steerable solution for the whitefish and flatfish fisheries. The present 12m2 working prototype is too large for the typical vessel in these fisheries. The development of a 2m2 steerable trawl door will open up a much larger market and allow the economic and environmental benefits of the MLD steerable trawl door technology to be exploited on a much greater scale.Hence, the aims of this project are to- develop 2m2 steerable trawl doors suitable for the demersal whitefish and flatfish fisheries.- assess and quantify the economic and environmental performance of the 2m2 MLD steerable trawl doors in the demersal whitefish and flatfish fishery.The doors will be evaluated during experimental trials at seas. The experiments will demonstrate to the fishing industry the benefits of the MLD steerable trawl doors, and highlight in particular the reduced fuel usage per kilo of fish caught, the increased manoeuvrability, the reduced seabed impacts and the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions during conditions they normally operate under. The trials will be fully instrumented, carried out under controlled conditions and provide a detailed and precise understanding of the environmental and economic performance of the MLD steerable trawl doors. Such information will be particularly useful to fisheries managers in assessing which fishing gears and practices should be permitted in protected and sensitive areas.

DTU Aqua, National Institute of Aquatic Resources (coordinator)
MLD ApS, Denmark

The project is funded by Ministry of Environment of Denmark through the Green Development and Demonstration Program (GUDP).

Research area: Fisheries Technology
Effective start/end date01/08/202031/07/2024


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