Where are commercial shrimp trawls required to use BRDs
in the Gulf and South Atlantic regions?
A1: Each net rigged for trawling and operating in the Gulf
of Mexico Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) east and west of
85 degrees 30 minutes Longitude (approximately at Cape San
Blas, Florida) and shoreward of the 100-fathom depth contour
must be equipped with a NMFS-certified BRD. A net is rigged
for trawling if it is in the water, or if it is shackled,
tied or otherwise connected to a sled, door, or other device
that spreads the net. A trawl net is also considered rigged
if it is connected to a towrope, cable, pole, or extension
either on board or attached to the shrimp trawler.
Which are NMFS-certified BRDs?
A2: The fisheye, Gulf fisheye, and Jones-Davis BRDs have
been certified for all shrimp trawls operating west of the
specified point in Q1, and the fisheye, Gulf fisheye, Jones-Davis,
extended funnel, and expanded mesh BRDs have been approved
for all shrimp trawls operating east of that point. The
Gulf fisheye and the Jones-Davis are not approved for the
South Atlantic region.
I seldom acquire bycatch in my shrimp net. Do I have to
rig my shrimp trawler with a certified BRD?
A3: If at least 90 percent by weight of the shrimp onboard
or offloaded from your trawler are royal red shrimp, your
trawl nets do not have to be rigged with a certified BRD.
Those trawling for species other than shrimp are not required
to rig trawl nets with a BRD.
Must my try net be rigged with a certified BRD?
A4: A shrimp trawler is exempt from the requirement to have
a BRD installed in a single try net with a head rope length
of 16 feet or less provided the single try net is either
pulled immediately in front of another net or is not connected
to another net.
Must I use a BRD with a skimmer trawl or a butterfly net?
A5: No, but restricted tow times apply when using these
nets. Tow times are set by individual states.
Is a certified BRD required in a rigid-frame roller trawl
A6: A shrimp trawler may use and have onboard up to two
rigid-frame roller trawls that are 16 feet or less in length
without certified BRDs. A rigid-frame roller trawl has a
mouth formed by a rigid frame and a grid of rigid vertical
bars, and rollers on the lower horizontal part of the frame
to allow the trawl to roll over the bottom while being towed.
No doors, boards, or similar devices are attached to keep
open the mouth of the trawl.
Must a BRD be used in trawl nets harvesting in state coastal
waters of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic regions?
A7: BRDs are not required in shrimp trawl nets working in
Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama state waters, but they
are required in in Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina,
and South Carolina waters. Each state has defined requirements.
Contact appropriate state agency for description of boundaries
of state and federal waters.
Why does my Jones-Davis BRD include a funnel?
A8: The outside of the funnel in your Jones-Davis BRD is
important. It slows down water flow between the funnel and
the large mesh, allowing the bycatch to swim out. The extended
funnel BRD, permitted in the south Atlantic but not in the
Gulf of Mexico region, functions in the same way.