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Danish Pelagic Producers Organisation

Innovation Minimises Pelagic Bycatch

Unintentional bycatches can be critical for fish stocks and marine wildlife, and in fisheries also for business, where it reduces the value of the catch.  

In the fishery for Norway pout an innovative project led by the Danish Pelagic Producers Organisation (DPPO) has resulted in the development of a new safe and selective gear that not only minimises the risk of accidental bycatches of other fish and marine wildlife, but also provides for a much safer working conditions on deck, lowe CO2 emissions and not least secures higher catches of the Norway pout fishers are targeting.  

Known as the Excluder, the advanced trawl insert comprises an outer net and an inner selection tube, with an escape panel that allows fish and other unintentional catches to swim out of the trawl unharmed.  

Excluder minimizes risk of accidental bycatches, reduces fishing effort, impact on marine environment and CO2 emissions

Tests are now underway in other pelagic and demersal fisheries, and several scientific projects have been initiated to further develop the technology and tailor to the challenges faced in those fisheries. These include minimizing the risk of accidental bycatches of marine mammals. 

The Excluder is the outcome of a collaboration between DPPO, scientists at the Technical University of Denmark, trawl makers at Egersund Tor-MoTrawl and the crew of fishing vessel Themis S144. Denmark’s Green Development and Demonstration Programme funded the project.