The trawling industry is facing increasing societal pressure, both in terms of by-catch and impact. The development of new fishing gear that more selective and less impactful on ecotystems a major topic on which Ifremer and several foreign teams are working.
However, until now, selectivity and the impacts of fishing gear have always been adressed in passive manner. Indeed, the escape of unwanted species is a process that depends on the fish itself and its willingness to escape from the fishing gear. Similary, no fishing vessel currently has sensors to assess its impact on ecosystems, or to correlate it with its catch.
The development of new techniques enabling vessels to actively control their selectivity and their impact on ecosystems is therefore an area in which it is essential to make progress in order to meet societal expectations.