BSB Top Mesh 1
BSB Top Panel 2
BSB Top Panel 3

Black Sea Bass Reduction in the Small Mesh Longfin Squid Fishery

There is an immediate need to develop effective technologies, gear modifications, and/or improved fishing practices to reduce impacts of bycatch, including black sea bass, in mid-Atlantic and Southern New England small mesh fisheries. Selectively eliminating black sea bass from small mesh nets on the sea floor is the best option for the optimal survivability. Upon capture and being brought to the surface, the swim bladder of the black sea bass becomes inflated due to change in pressure and may cause the stomach to protrude out of the mouth known as stomach evulsion. This condition is a symptom of barotrauma and can be fatal. The black sea bass applied discard mortality rate in the bottom trawl fishery is 100%

CCe will perform an evaluation of modified small mesh trawl net design against a standard small mesh trawl net used in the longfin squid fishery. This project will work cooperatively with active fishermen from Point Judith, Rhode Island. We propose to qualify and quantify the black sea bass bycatch reduction and target species (longfin squid) retention of the experimental design described below.

Goals and Objectives

The two main goals of the project are:

  1. Help resource managers and fishermen work together to sustainably use, protect, maintain and rebuild marine fisheries.
  2. Develop and implement a conservation gear technology approach specifically a net with a large mesh top panel to address the issue of black sea bass bycatch in the small mesh longfin fishery.

The goals will be accomplished by the following objectives:

  • Compare the bycatch rates of black sea bass from each net (experimental and control)
  • Compare the catch rates of the target species (longfin squid) for each net
  • Record and compare the bycatch of other NMFS-regulated or protected species
  • Promote better fishing practices and use of gear modifications to reduce bycatch


Darci Bielenda
Marine Program Sr. Administrative Assistant SCMELC
631-852-8660 ext. 21

Last updated August 2, 2018