Commercial monkfish fishing partners have expressed an interest in evaluating conservation gear modifications to reduce skate catch in monkfish sink gillnets. Commercial fishermen have communicated the need to reduce skate catch during closures to continue to fish for monkfish and effectively utilize their Monkfish DAS allocation. Cooperating industry partners in this proposal have proposed assessing an increased twine thickness or diameter of monofilament in conjunction with an increased mesh size to reduce skate catch. Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program will collaborate with an active monkfish sink gillnet fishermen and a gillnet builder to evaluate the reduction in skate catch from a standard gillnet 12” mesh with .90mm twine with 42” tie-downs against an experimental concept: 13” mesh with 1.1mm twine using tie-down. This experimental concept is proposed to reduce skate catch and therefore reduce skate discard by conducting a comparative research study using gillnets constructed of a larger mesh and thicker gauge twine that may repel skate and avoid entanglement.
Last updated November 1, 2021