Oregon Shrimpers Work to Reduce Bycatch

Mar 27, 2012

Oregon's shrimp season starts April 1st. No fooling. Officials say the latest technology is helping to prevent other critters from getting caught up in shrimpers' nets.

Bycatch reduction devices or BRDs keep small fish including eulachon which is listed as threatened, from getting swept up with the shrimp. Bob Hannah is project leader for shrimp and research at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He says BRDs continue to improve.

Hannah: "The rules eliminated some of the less efficient types of devices which were called soft panel excluders and dropped the bar spacing on the vertical bars in rigid grid excluders down to one inch. Now, as of April 1 this year, that bar spacing goes down to 3/4 inch. Which is about as far as you can go."

Shrimp is among the state's top fisheries. You'll recognize those Oregon pink shrimp as tasty little morsels often added to salad. Shrimp season is from April 1st through October 31st.

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