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Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Fishery Improvement Roundtable Increasing Fuel Efficiency Through the Use of Cambered Steel Trawl Doors and Nets

Replacing traditional wood trawl doors and nylon nets with steel cambered doors and lighter nets on shrimp trawl vessels can reduce fuel consumption by up to 39 percent. Shrimp boats using these new doors and nets decrease drag and in turn produce fewer RPMs to reach desired towing speed. In economic terms, total fuel savings are significant, with the average vessel saving 6,000 gallons of diesel, or $28,000 in fuel on an annual basis. With this level of fuel saving potential, the new doors and nets pay for themselves before the first full fishing year; over the 5-year life of the gears the net benefit to vessel owner is $104,000. In addition, researchers have found that because steel cambered trawl doors improve engine efficiency, oil changes and major overhauls are not needed as frequently. The Roundtable also encourages the use of Jones Davis or Modified Jones Davis bycatch reduction devices (BRDs). Although there are no studies that have attempted to quantify the Fuel-efficient steel cambered doors efficiencies that come from using a higher performing BRD, a review of public documents and discussions with professionals has led researchers to conclude that such benefits may include improved quality of product due to reduced crushing, improved fuel efficiency due to reduced drag, and reduced crew costs associated with sorting. Cost of Gear: Steel doors: $7,000 Dummy doors/sleds: $800 x 2=$1,600 Nets: $1,500 avg. per net x 4 = $6,000 BRDs: $400 avg, x 4=$1,600 Fuel flow meter: $1,500 Total Gear Conversion Costs per Boat = $17,700 Cost Covered by Shrimp Fishery Improvement Roundtable = $8,850 Balance = $8,850 The Roundtable will also provide an experienced Captain to assist with installation of the gear, and training on how to use the nets and doors effectively. A Captain will be provided for up to 5 days, although it may not take that long. In addition, we will provide $500 a day (up to 5 days) during the training to offset the costs of boat operation during training. Contacts: Jaimy Norris, Ocean Conservancy ­ 727-369-6611 Kathryn Novak, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership - 813-482-7146

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GOM Gear overview and costs