Trawl Task Force Wins But Fishing Methodology Between N.O.A.A. and Commercial Fishing Today Is Vastly Different

To Whom This May Concern,

First I will talk about N.O.A.A. ‘s methodology of fishing when their fishing survey was started to find the abundance of fish, but tows were randomly picked, tows were 20 minutes long, using a net which was too small for the boat and the area covered by the bouncing net and wire was minor compared to today’s commercial fishing tows. At that time, these surveys had No Quota Effects on Commercial Fishing. Times have changed since then, BUT NOW  N.O.A.A. surveys control fish given to commercial fishing by their inadequate surveys methodology.

In 1990 I (Sam Novello) participated on the NOAA SHIP ALBATROSS  SPRING SURVEYS for 21 days, it was a great experience. The fishermen who were the fishing crew on the Albatross told me that I was not going to be happy with gear & the net being used. on the R/V Albatross ., SO TRUE, R/V Albatross length  234 ft width 28 ft using net 80ft. on bottom of the net with 10 FTM wire after the doors, F/V Capt. Novello, which I captain is 60 ft. long width 17 ft. uses 90 ft. on the bottom (with 30 ftms. after the doors) NOTE- wire after the doors (which spreads the net) is really important because the more wire used after the doors give more area covered gives higher catch rate. Believe NOAA use little wire after the doors which gives lower catch rates (CATCHING FISH PROBLEM)

Now NOAA has a new R/V BIGELOW with a new and bigger net (that’s better than 80 ft,) but the same old problem, lack of fishing efficiency, need more wire after doors, the more area covered the catch rate, will be higher. I believe the R/V Bigelow net is being over-spread because of lack of wire, which causes less height less and ground contact.

Sam Novello is a Gloucester fisherman who cares about the future of fish and fishermen.