Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Earth and Environmental Sciences


Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Dr. Martin O'Connell

Second Advisor

Dr. Ioannis Georgiou

Third Advisor

Dr. Read Hendon


The Wing Trawling System (WTS) was tested as an alternative to traditional shrimp capture methods in the Gulf. Compared to an otter trawl, this trawl was conceived to reduce bycatch, retain shrimp catch, and minimize seafloor disturbance. Through seventy-one paired tows, the WTS was assessed against a standard otter trawl. The WTS was found to reduce bycatch by 63-65% and reduce shrimp catch by 30-35%. Additionally, I measured the depth of the scars produced by both trawls and quantified the turbidity of the plumes behind them. The scars left by the WTS and the otter trawl were between 9.9 cm-13.6 cm. The turbidity behind the WTS was 18.6 NTU, while the turbidity behind the otter trawl was 206.8 NTU. In conclusion, the WTS offers an alternative to an otter trawl that reduces bycatch and the impact trawling has on the seafloor but results in a significant amount of shrimp loss.


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