Information from these extension efforts was used by the Czech Republic Hydrobiology Institute, which coordinates the European Union freshwater assessment program, to develop trawl and vessel designs for use in inland waters. The trawl/vessel unit to be completed during the summer of 2009, will be used in government-supported water quality monitoring programs in several large reservoir waters in the Czech Republic that supply more than 100,000 people with drinking water. Moreover, information on trawl design and operation was used by a Lake Michigan commercial operator to reconfigure his trawl design, which significantly reduced trawl clogging, improved catch rates, and reduced his fuel expenditures.
impact statement issue
Trawling is an integral part of fisheries assessment and commercial harvesting in the marine and inland freshwater systems. In freshwater, despite the importance of trawling, trawl operators possess rudimentary understanding of trawling gear, are limited in abilities to fix or diagnose trawling problems, and are unable to access marine trawling expertise. The situation provided a unique opportunity to organize a joint workshop with the Sea Grant programs of New York and Rhode Island and the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) to bring trawling technology to inland trawlers in the Great Lakes and the European Union.
impact statement response
During fall 2008, New York Sea Grant organized a three-day trawling gear design workshop for freshwater users, along with Rhode Island Sea Grant and MUN. The workshop, attended by representatives from Wisconsin Sea Grant, the Lake Michigan commercial industry, and a European Union trawling consortium (representing eight countries) featured presentations on trawl designs, vessel demonstrations of variable trawl designs on fish catches, and participation aboard a research trawler along the Atlantic Coast. For the European Union biologist, New York Sea Grant later organized meetings and participation on trawl sampling with fisheries assessment staff from lakes Erie and Ontario.
impact statement summary
A trawl design outreach project was developed and implemented by New York Sea Grant in cooperation with Rhode Island Sea Grant and the Memorial University of Newfoundland to help freshwater trawl users to better understand the mechanics of trawl operation and effects of trawl design on fish sampling efficiency. One of the participants from the Czech Republic used this information to inform other countries in the European Union on trawl building.