Evaluation of the Trawl Shrimp Cage

A trawl shrimp cage I (TSC), which was a modification of the cod end of a conventional wingnet, was evaluated for its ability to reduce the bycatch associated with shrimping. The webbing of the cod end was stretched around a box-like aluminum frame. This prevented the webbing in the cod end from collapsing under the weight of water pressure and cod end contents, thus releasing undersized shrimp and finfish directly into water. The TSC was evaluated between 6 June 1985 and 13 August 1985 in the estuarine marshes of eastern Louisiana. A 6.4-m aluminum flat bottom boat was outfitted with a conventional wingnet on I side and wingnet rigged with the TSC on the other. Although the TSC caught less shrimp overall, it retained approximately the same number of the larger, more valued shrimp « I04/kg heads on) as the conventional wingnet. The TSC reduced the finfish catch by an average of 75%. The small shrimp and finfish not retained by the TSC has the potential of growing to a marketable size and being harvested at a later date.

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