Redesign of Channeled Whelk Traps for Improved Selective Harvesting


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Proposed to the TECH 797 students was the redesign and modification of the current standard channeled whelk trap. Channeled whelk fisherman have recently needed alternatives proposed to these traps to strengthen commercial fisheries along the east coast of the United States. With new size regulations, there has been an increase in the amount of sorting that is necessary for a legal harvest. The research done is imperative to saving these fishermen time while out at sea and reducing the amount of handling that a sublegal sized whelk experiences. One way to allow sublegal whelk out of a trap is commonly seen in lobster traps, escape vents. The escape vents allow the smaller individuals to exit the trap. The whelk trap created will be accepted into the commercial fishing community and will not decrease the amount of legal whelk caught in the trap. This design constraint created a balance that took many trials and variations to perfect. Making the escape vent hole too large allows legal whelk to freely exit the trap but making the door too small means bycatch numbers are barely altered. After multiple trials and review, a finalized gumdrop shape trap door design has been found to show the most significant improvements for allowing the majority of sublegal whelk to escape. The final design, among the other important information learned during the past year about these animals, will continue to push forward new improvements for whelk fishermen.


First Name Last Name
Aidan Thayer
Jack Schreiber
Sarah Leighton
Anthony Lee
Jake Greenland

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Submission Details

Conference URC
Event Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (ISE)
Department Ocean Engineering (ISE)
Added April 14, 2022, 11:42 a.m.
Updated April 17, 2022, 2:23 p.m.
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