A bottom trawl net is a specially-designed fishing net used to catch pelagic fish species along the ocean floor. While primary uses of bottom trawl net gear generally pertain to trawling or “dragging”for fish along the ocean floor, these nets can also be used for mid-water trawling purposes. Various benefits of using bottom trawl net gear includes the catching of bottom-feeding pelagic species such as shrimp or squid.
When fishing with a bottom trawl net, pelagic fish are lured into the path of the net, simplifying the process of catching many sought-after saltwater fish species. While there are benefits of using bottom trawl nets, there are also many disadvantages. Since abottom trawl net drags across the ocean floor, it tends to destroy many natural habitats while also unintentionally catching various marine species in the process. To learn more about fishing with a trawl net, review the information below.
What are the characteristics of a bottom trawl net?
A bottom trawl netis a large, heavy,cone-shaped net used to catch fish along the ocean floor. However, trawl netsgenerally vary in size, length, weight and material, depending on specific fish species anglers wish to target. Bottom trawl nets from Memphis Net & Twine, for instance,are made from mesh netting materials and are available in widths of between eight and 25 feet. However, bottom trawling nets may exceed 40 feet tall and 200 feet wide in some cases. Furthermore, a trawl netgenerally consists of:
- A large tapered net with a small enclosed end and wide mouth.
- Two weighted doors near the mouth of the net. Since these metal doors need to anchor the bottom trawl net to the floor of the ocean, they may weigh up to 1,300 pounds.Moreover, these doors may sit within 110 and 650 feet of one another.
- A heavy footrope along the bottom of the net.
- Small mesh holes.
What kind of fishing can bottom trawl nets be used for?
Where can I use a bottom trawl net?
Varioususes of bottom trawl netsmay include shallow or deep ocean waters. Using a bottom trawl net along the ocean floor is referred to as “bottom trawling,” while using a net away from the bottom of the sea is known as “pelagic” or “mid-water trawling.”
What types of fish can I catch with bottom trawl nets?
A trawl net can be used to catch a variety of fish species, depending on whether anglers perform a bottom- or mid-water trawl. If using a bottom trawl net to catch species living on or near the ocean floor, fishermen can catch octopus, squid, cod, flounder, haddock, sole, orange roughy, shrimp and rockfish. Furthermore, mid-water trawl nets can be used to catch schools of fish near the top or middle of the ocean such as sardines, Alaskan pollock, herring and mackerel.
How do I use a bottom trawl net?
When using a bottom trawl net, commercial fishermen tow the net behind one or two boats. When fishing with a bottom trawl net, fish are herded into the heavy-weighted net and are trapped so they cannot escape. However, the specific tow speed and duration will vary depending on the species of fish anglers wish to catch. Furthermore, a bottom trawl net can also be used in conjunction with bycatch reduction and turtle excluder devices to reduce the risk of catching endangered sea turtles and other common types of bycatch.
What are the advantages of using bottom trawl nets?
There are several benefits of using bottom trawl net gearwhen trawling for pelagic fish species. For instance, a bottom trawl netmay provide benefits such as the following:
- Quicker access to larger quantities of seafood.
- An increase in fishery-related jobs.
- Some studies show that trawling may help fish populations grow.
- Dead or discarded bycatch may be used as food for scavenging sea life.
What are the cons of using bottom trawl nets?
While there are benefits of using bottom trawl net gear, there are several disadvantages as well. For instance, a bottom trawl net is more likely to unintentionally catch and injure endangered sea turtles, invertebrates and other fish species. For instance, fishing with a bottom trawl net often results in the unintentional catching of starfish, crab, dolphins, whales, corals, sharks and rays. Furthermore, trawl netsmay damage ocean habitats as well, as the net scrapes against the sea floor.
Who should consider using a bottom trawl net?
Fishing with a bottom trawl net is a method that may only be used by industrial fishermen or researchers. However, bottom trawling nets are illegal in certain parts of country, including in parts of Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Alaska, Washington, California, Oregon and Hawaii.
How much does a bottom trawl net cost?
Bottom trawl nets are costly, as they are generally used by commercial fishermen. For instance, singletrawl nets from Memphis Net & Twine range from $237.75 to $761.25, while complete nets with boards and tow lines range from $404.25 to $1,163.35.
Where can I find a bottom trawl net?
Trawl nets are available online through various retailers such as Memphis Net & Twine, Sea-Gear and Innovative Net Systems. For instance, several bottom trawl netsfrom Memphis Net & Twine include the following:
- Shrimp/Baitfish Trawl, 8 feet ($238.75)
- Shrimp/Baitfish Trawl, 12 feet ($272.60)
- Shrimp/Baitfish Trawl, 16 feet ($407.05)
- Shrimp/Baitfish Trawl, 20 feet ($545.10)
- Shrimp/Baitfish Trawl, 25 feet ($761.25)