NOAA Fish Surveys: A way to improve – Capt. Sam Novello

TO ALL These Concerns.
First, you need the net, then a set of doors capable of spreading, the net and ground wire, and bridles connected to the net. The angle of attack should be at 15 degrees, this angle is best for catching flounders, cod and haddock. The lower of the angle will catch more flounders.  This is the reason why R/V Bigelow did an inadequate job of catching flounders & codfish, (overspreading the net)
The best net will not fish properly if the doors are not synchronized with the net. (I believe the doors and the proper set of wires are just as important as the net.
People are talking about a new net for fish surveys, which means more research is needed, more time lost & more money wasted.
R/V  Henry B. Bigelow’s net is well suited to new surveys. People talking about rock-hoppers which is just an add-on to the net for fishing in harder bottoms. I used 18-inch rock-hoopers and did not catch flounders, but it depends on how it is rigged.??
NOW IF I were in charge, I use the Ruble  2 vessels that are equipped as with R/V Bigaloew with the same fishing setup as R/V Bigaloew.
Rig up one of the vessels differently just by adding 15 fathoms of ground wire before 15 bridles & tune in the doors to get that 15-degree angle to fish with.
Now have these boats do fish survey work and compare the catch. The vessel with added ground wire and the 15-degree angle catches will be greater.
Now this would be a truer picture of fish abundance.
Note: With over 100 years of fishing experience in the family, we have found areas of our ocean are fishless, so I believe that fishermen should be able to pick a percentage of survey tows.
Capt.Sam Novello   Gloucester, Ma.