Scientists from Plant & Food Research, partnering with three large NZ commercial operators, have come up with a way to avoid that inefficiency and reduce the impact on the fish stocks caused by trawling.
The 'Precision Seafood Harvesting' technology they have developed at a cost of over $50m is set to revolutionise the fishing industry, and with the patents in place, they hope to see global success for their ideas. The system works by using a giant tube, rather than a net, with small holes or 'escape-portals' in it. The tube is dragged behind a boat at the desired depth for the species you are after, and as it goes along, it captures fish, who swim along with the tube. Smaller fish escape out the small holes and when the whole tube is hauled in, it retains a lot of the water.
As far as the fish are concerned, there is far less trauma, it's like their swimming pool just got moved. The fish can be kept alive longer and any unwanted species can be put back in the ocean with much less handling or stress.