Each year crab fishermen lose nearly one-10th of their snowcrab traps at sea, according to a news release.
The Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation is developing a remote detection technique to reduce that number using side scan sonar.
The project will be carried out in Conception Bay this summer using a Marine Institute research vessel for two days of at-sea testing, and will be done in co-operation with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ Union, and $11,938 in funding from the province.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Darin King said the project fits government priorities.
“Ensuring minimal negative impact on our ocean ecosystem from the fishery is a key priority for our government,” he said. “In order to deliver on this commitment, we have allocated funding in areas of innovation, research and development. It is projects like this new initiative, using innovative technology, that will help harvesters continue their fishing with minimal loss and more profit, while protecting the ocean at the same time.”
The side scan sonar will create an image of the seafloor and is designed to look sideways and at a downward angle from both sides of a towed unit, called a towfish.