Draggin' Wing by Alabama Shrimping was an Ocean Exchange Solutions Inspiring Action contest registrant in 2014. The Wing Trawling System (WTS) cuts fuel use in half or more on shrimp trawlers, and also significantly reduces bycatch.
Alabama Shrimping website
Wing Trawling System on the water
Many improvements and design changes have been made to the Wing Trawling System (WTS) for shrimp trawling over the last two years. Water flow and stowage handling have progressed to make the system much easier for the fishermen.
The most interesting feature of the WTS is its ability to not capture unwanted fish. Where typical trawl doors herd fish toward the center of the net, the WTS directs fish away from the net center toward freedom. Video demo here.
A design change in the WTS has improved this feature. Preliminary results are showing a possibility of a 90% by-catch reduction while retaining shrimp capture.
Host vessel owned by WTS inventor Randy Skinner
To prove this and acquire scientific data, a NOAA Fisheries By-Catch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP) Grant has been awarded. Trawling is scheduled to begin July 1, 2015. A standard pair of trawl doors will be pulled from one side of the vessel and a WTS from the other. Nets are identical and have been filmed underwater by the National Marine Fisheries.
Alabama Shrimping has an active social media presence on Facebook, Google+, and YouTube, including numerous videos of recent field tests.
Photos provided by Alabama Shrimping.