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Journals 2009/2010

Beth Brocato
Exeter-West Greenwich Junior High School, W. Greenwich, Rhode Island

"Bottom Trawl Survey, Northeast Fisheries Science Center"
September 9 - 24, 2009
Journal Index:
September 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16
                 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23

September 15, 2009
The Trawl

Track the Bigelow.

So, how does a bottom trawl work? Bottom trawls are very large nets that are dragged on the seafloor to catch groundfish and other species. The trawl nets are unspooled from the back of the ship. Once the entire net is in the water it is lowered to the bottom of the seafloor.

Here the crew deploys the trawl net from the stern of the boat.

The ship will then tow the net along the bottom of the seafloor for a pre-determined length.

Diagram of how bottom trawl nets work

The net is then pulled back in and the catch is dumped into the sorter. During this trip, the ship will make about 100 trawls in the 12 days at sea.

The catch from the bottom trawl is dumped into the sorter.

During our first trawl of the morning today (1 a.m.) we caught a 4-foot Sand Bar Shark and a large ray!

QUESTION: What does the word "trawl" mean?