Scientists and fishermen have been working together to trial an innovative new type of fishing gear, which could hold answers to creating a selective whitefish fishery on Lake Vättern in Sweden.
Through October and November, GAP2 scientist Alfred Sandstrom, and local fishers Patrik Grönlind and Magnus Johansson are trialling the “push-up trap” in their quest to develop a selective whitefish fishery on Lake Vattern.
The push-up trap, essentially a fish-bag on floats, not only fishes selectively, but also catches the fish alive. The potential result is that fishers don’t need to make as many boat trips, saving them from both high fuel costs and bad weather outings. During the GAP2 trial, the potential to use the trap in a freshwater fishery in particular, will be evaluated. Special emphasis will be placed on the selectivity of the gear, the possibility to release fish other than the target species without harm, and the ergonomics and practical experience of fishermen.
Watch the Push-Up Trap in Action
Watch GAP2 scientist Alfred Sandstrom and fishers Patrik Grönlind and Magnus Johansson take the “push-up” trap out to water on Lake Vattern in Sweden.
Push-Up Trap Information
Mikael Lundin and his father Christer have been working to develop the push-up trap since 1997; in 2000, the first trap was on the market. Since then they have been continuously developing the trap, adapting it to new species and habitats.
What is it?
The push-up trap is a type of stable fishing gear which can float to the water’s surface. Pontoons mounted above and underneath the cod end of the trap are inflated using a compressor. When the pontoons are fully inflated, the trap floats to the surface where the fish can be easily released.
Why is it important?
The push-up trap’s ability to float makes it possible for single fishermen to handle large gear from small boats. Moreover, the construction, particularly when combined with selection bars, may enhance the selectivity of the fishery and potentially replace gillnets in shallow areas.
Why was it developed?
The trap was originally developed as a means to minimize the conflict between seals and fishermen in the Baltic Sea. The size and weight of seal-proof traps were too heavy for single fishermen to handle with small boats. Thus, one fisherman came up with the idea for the construction as a way to solve this problem. The traps are now being built and sold by the company Harmånger Maskin and Marin and they are used in large scale all along the Baltic Sea coastline.