Kudos to Eleanor Bochenek, Jason Morson and Doug Zemeckis for landing a NOAA Scallop RSA grant!
RSA is a unique applied research funding mechanism targeted at resolving industry-driven problems in specific fisheries – see link below for more details. Here is a summary of what they will be tackling: “Can Cutting Bar Modifications Reduce Bycatch and Increase Catch Efficiency in the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery”
Atlantic sea scallops support an important commercial fishery in the northeast US. While the current legal dredge configuration allows some bycatch to escape, a fraction of smaller scallops and other bycatch species are still retained. The traditional “cutting bar” of the current regulation dredge is in a fixed position in the frame of the dredge. This project will test a modification to the cutting bar that allows the angle of the bar relative to the seafloor to be adjusted depending on the conditions. Preliminary trials suggest this modification to the cutting bar could reduce bycatch by generating a vortex of water between the frame of the dredge and the chain bag.