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CCE Research Team Conducts Butterfish Bycatch Reduction Research Project with Modified Work Plan 

The Cornell Cooperative Extension Fisheries Team is gearing up to go to sea to conduct research on their butterfish bycatch reduction project with a modified work plan. The original goal of the study was to develop and evaluate two Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRD) to reduce butterfish bycatch in the directed winter offshore Loligo squid fishery. After analyzing the data from the first three research trips, a less than desired result has been revealed for the efficiency and effectiveness of all experimental BRD’s for both butterfish and Loligo squid. The project's work plan has been modified to further explore the effectiveness and efficiency of two gear designs, the rope trawl and the box trawl, which are the most commonly used gears in the Loligo squid fishery. This evaluation and comparison between these two gears will be the first of its kind to be performed. By amending this project's work plan to examine and evaluate the inherent bycatch reduction existing in the design of the rope trawl we can re-direct our efforts to achieve project goals and a net management perspective. 

CCE will use the 6 remaining experimental sea days to compare the rope trawl to the box trawl aboard the F/V Karen Elizabeth. CCE will conduct 6 paired tows per day totaling 36 paired tows to evaluate the two nets relative to bycatch reduction of butterfish and retention of Loligo squid. During the trip, 36 paired experimental tows will be performed in the offshore Loligo squid fishery within the Hudson Canyon Region. The trip take place Nov 26 - Dec 2. Preliminary results will be posted as they become available. 

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