Project number: 2008-206
Project Status:
Completed
Budget expenditure: $106,900.00
Principal Investigator: David J. Sterling
Organisation: DJ Sterling Trawl Gear Services
Project start/end date: 19 Jun 2008 - 29 Aug 2009
Contact:
FRDC

Need

The Australian Fishing Industry requires assistance in becoming a more efficient user of energy. Fishing with trawl gear expends more fuel per kg of fish landed compared to passive methods such as longlining and trap fishing. In all cases however, rising fuel prices impinge on the profitability of the operations, and ultimately put their viability in jeopardy; this has reach a critical situation for many trawl operators in Australia.
This project to implement high strength netting and demonstrate the positive outcomes for the prawn trawling industry has the intention of reducing the fuel used by fishing enterprises and shifting the industry towards a more economically viable and environmentally sustainable position.
Specifically, research is required to document and define the difficulties/problems associated with using high strength netting in prawn trawling applications and develop solutions for its successful implementation; followed by quantification of the nett benefit achieved.
This contributes to the R&D plans and strategies of all advisory bodies to the FRDC, since they contain high priority goals to achieve FRDC’s planned outcome for Industry Development, that: "The commercial sector of the Australian fishing industry is profitable, internationally competitive and socially resilient".

Objectives

1. For commercial netting of 50mm nominal mesh size, measure and compare the dimensional, mechanical and hydrodynamic characteristics of 1.65mm twisted PE (24 ply), 1.0mm twisted Spectra and 1.1mm braided Dynema.
2. Compare the engineering and catching performance of three dual-rig prawn trawling systems
each configured to be compatible (“optimal”) respectively to the three netting types under investigation.

Final report

ISBN: 0 9578341 5 2
Author: David Sterling

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