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Better BRDs Project: New BRD Testing

Better Bycatch Reduction Devices for the Gulf of Mexico Commercial Shrimp Trawl Fishery

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New BRD Testing

Louisiana and Texas Sea Grant Programs are working with the Gulf shrimping industry and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to identify and promote new and potentially improved bycatch reduction devices for use in the Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp trawl fishery. The Better BRD Project is an industry-lead, non-regulatory, volunteer-based effort to find better methods to reduce fish bycatch while also maintaining shrimp retention in the Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp trawl fishery. For more information about this project, visit About the Better BRDs Project.

PHASE 1: PILOT TESTING (applications closed)

For initial industry testing, this phase included real-world trials on commercial vessels to test best placement, ease of use, durability, and industry preferences. There were no researcher or observer requirements during this phase of testing. Selected participants tested potential new devices in only one net across the Gulf of Mexico.

PHASE 2: BRD vs. BRD (beginning Spring 2024)

BRD vs BRD takes the new gear recommendations from pilot testing through more intensive, data-focused trials. Participants will be asked to install an experimental net with a proposed new BRD and a control net with the fisheye at 9 feet in their outside nets and change every 2 days. A Sea Grant researcher will be onboard to record data from the paired nets. Sea Grant seeks data from across shrimp fisheries and across pre-defined areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Priority will be given to vessels that meet the needs of the project upon application.

Application and Compensation:

Louisiana Sea Grant has engaged Lynker to manage the Industry Testing application and contracting processes. Any signed agreements will be explained and honored by them. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Requirements for BRD vs BRD testing are:

  • federal GOM shrimp permit and fishing in federal waters
  • four-rig vessel
  • Active safety sticker
  • Able to take researcher for trip

A daily rate of $650/day will be provided to testing participants (this includes $50 /day reimbursement for food for the researcher on the vessel). Total compensation amount will vary based on project needs and testing activities.

A minimum 40 total sampled tows (20 each side; approximately 18 days) is required for each experimental BRD tested.

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Download: BRD vs. BRD Testing Application (printer-friendly version)

If you would like to discuss application details or more about the project, please contact us .

Expect to be contacted by our project team within two weeks of submitting your application. Applicants who are not selected for pilot testing will still be eligible for future testing phases associated with this project.