The goal of this project is to increase the fishing efficiency of the pots that are used to harvest snow crabs in the Barents Sea, as well as to develop pots that do not contribute to increasing plastic litter and ghost fishing. The snowcrab fishing in the Barents Sea is carried out by large offshore vessels because the fishing ground are far from land and large number of pots should be transported back and forth over long distances. Therefore, fishermen use conical pots that can be stacked together and that allow many pots to be transported on deck for each trip. One of the disadvantages of using these conical pots is that the entrance is located at the top of the pot, which reduces the chances of crabs to enter the pots, thus reducing catch efficiency. In this project we have carried out several cruises on board the snow crab vessel "Northeastern" to carry out full scale experiments under commercial fishing conditions. In these experiments, we have investigated the effect of systematically changing the design of standard conical pots on the catching efficiency. During this project we have tested more than 10 different pot designs, both with top and side entrances. The results have shown that none of the new pot designs were more efficient than the standard conical pots. In addition, this project carried out two experiments with artificial LED light in the pots (in the spring and the autumn season of 2020). The results from the spring cruise showed that catch of snow crabs increased by up to 76% when using green LED, while white LED increased the catch efficiency by 52-53% on average. The results from the autumn cruise also showed a positive effect of LED lights on catch efficiency, but the increase in catch was not as large as for the spring cruise. The results from this project confirm that the efficiency of the snow crab stones can be increased. Finally, this project carried out experiments with electronic tags (RFID tags) for control and registration of all pots that are deployed and retrieved. This electronic registration can help documenting the amount of lost gears per trip, vessel and season in this fishery.
Fangst okte 76% i teinene med grønn LED-lys og 52-53% i teinene med hvitt LED-lys. Når det gjelder seleksjon av småkrabber på samme fiskedybde har dette prosjektet identifisert den optimale maskestørrelse og den optimale maskeåpning som bør brukes i teinas konstruksjon til å garantere en god seleksjonsprosess på fiskedybde. Opilio AS bruker nå til vanlig teiner som er laget av 140mm masker med masker som holder rundt 60 grader åpningsvinkler. Dette prosjektet har gjennomført forsøk med elektronisktags (RFID tags) for kontroll og registering av alle teinene som settes ut og hales opp. Dette kan dokumentere mengde tapte redskap per tur, fartøy og sesong i dette fiskeriet. Når det gjelder bruk av miljøvennlige materialer i teinas konstruksjon har dette prosjektet testet bruk av biologisk nedbrytbare plast i enkelte komponenter av teina (netting, tau, og agn bokser). FoU om bruk av mer miljøvennlige materialer i snøkrabbefiske forsetter i nylig innvilget SFI Biodegradable plastics.
This project aims to increase the catch efficiency and environmental friendliness of the new commercial Norwegian fishery for snow crab in the Barents Sea. The existing current technology for harvesting snowcrab in the Barents Sea is an adaptation based on the neighbouring Canadian fishery, and the supplier industry is eager to offer a technology that better fit the Norwegian conditions. The snow crab fleet are experiencing area conflicts, low efficiency in parts of the year and ghost fishing challenges. With an increase of efficiency, the development of a mechanism for anti-ghost fishing, and the use of biodegradable materials in the construction of the pots, these challenges can be reduced to something negligible.
The project is carried out the Norwegian fishing gear supplier Egersund Tral AS (project owner) in collaboration with the fishing company Opilio AS (owner of the snow crab vessels "Northeastern" and "North Guider") and R&D partner SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture.