This article is going to be published in the November issue of Fishing News International.

A new trawl design that Icelandic net loft VT Fishing Supplies has developed for customers in the USA builds on ideas that designer Hörður Jónsson took from work done by Kurt Hansen and his team at the SINTEF flume tank in Hirtshals in developing the new generation cod trawl.
„This is based on the new generation cod trawl design to an extent, modified to suit the conditions that these fishermen are working under and their requirements,“ Hörður Jónsson says.
„The requirements were to achieve a good opening while still being able to take bottom fish efficiently. The thinking behind it is to minimise the overall volume of netting and the overall drag of the gear, which is optimised for towing on plate footropes.“
He explains that the company´s contact whith Maine fishermen in Portland and Gloucester came about when he was there to begin with the show them how cod nets are rigged in Iceland. The move to trawl gear followed when fishermen there saw a SINTEF DVD he had left behind of plate footropes being tested in the Barents Sea, after which VT Fishing Supplies´ contact in the area, AJ Marine in Portland, came back with a request for trawl gear as well.
„We have supplied six trawls on 120, 180 and 200 foot footropes, for six trawlers between 500 and 800hp. The two largest ones have already started fishing and they have been quite successful and are happy with the way the gear performs, although there are always some bugs that have to be ironed out with new gear like this, things like getting the setback right,“ he tells FNI, adding that one minor problem was that the orginal designs were all in metric measurements, but the customers wanted to have their design translated into feet and inches.
„They are fishing mostly on flatfish and monkfish, but with their large haddock quotas there, they also needed the height so that they wouldn´t lose the haddock as well.“
He comments that the design process started in the mini-flume tank that Fjölbrautarskóli Suðurnesja (FS) has established in Iceland. These trawls are different to the Icelandic type of gear, which tends to have short lower wings to cope with bad ground.
„These fishermen wanted longer lower wings to herd fish into the gear and it might be possible to use some of these ideas in Iceland as well,“ Hörður Jónsson says.