At the initiative of WWF-Russia Murmansk scientists start the development of low-impact bottom trawl
It would meet the interests of fishermen and have less impact on the seabed and its inhabitants over the traditional bottom trawl.
This work leads WWF-RU together with the Association «Karat Holding», an agreement on cooperation was signed in March, 2014. Companies of the Association first in the Murmansk region have been MSC-certified and for the last 4 years produce cod and haddock in the Barents Sea according to the modern environmental standards.
«We have decided to actively participate in the project for the development and creation of a modernized bottom trawl. On our side, we provide funding for this project, and PINRO experts are working on the development of fishing gear. We are well aware that the ecosystem of the Barents Sea is very vulnerable, and it is obvious that fishing enterprises are interested in its conservation»- comments Sergey Sennikov, Vice-president for international affairs of the Association «Karat».
Currently the first research stage is completed successfully. The World Wildlife Fund has studied the impact of trawl fisheries for cod and haddock on the Barents Sea benthic communities: corals, sponges, sea pens and many other inhabitants of the seabed; developed and proposed action plan to reduce this impact. One of the elements of the plan is the development and introduction of new models of bottom trawl, which have less impact on benthos.
Documentation must be developed by the beginning of February, 2015. This will begin the third stage of the work - the creation of an experimental model of the trawl and its testing. Upon successful completion of the tests, the experts will go to the creation of a working model.
«The solution to this problem would greatly reduce the negative impact of bottom trawling on the Barents Sea ecosystem and make fishing for cod and haddock more stable», - sums up Project coordinator of WWF-Russia Alexey Golenkevich.