BRDs usage in the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery

Bycatche Reduction Devices (BRDs) are required in shrimp trawls used in the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery to reduce the amount of unwanted fish that is retained in the catch. There seems to be some confusion concerning what is required. The following is a clarification from Dan Foster with NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

“On April 11, NOAA Fisheries published a final rule allowing two new versions of the Composite Panel BRD. The original version of the Composite Panel BRD will no longer be allowed after May 25th. The BRDs currently certified for use in the Gulf of Mexico are the Jones/Davis, Modified Jones/Davis, Fisheye, and the two new versions of the Composite Panel BRDs. Most of the confusion that I have run across is that some fishers believe that they are required to switch to the new Composite Panel BRDs, which they are not. Vessels that are using the fisheye BRD at 9 ft from the tie-off rings can continue to do so. They are however, required to use one of the approved designs.”

The following are documents concerning the new BRDs.

New Bycatch Reduction Devices Certified for the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Shrimp Fisheries and Shrimp Effort Restrictions Relaxed in the Gulf of Mexico Small Entity Compliance Guide

Recommended Construction and Installation Instructions for the Composite Panel Bycatch Reduction Device with a Square Mesh Panel

Recommended Construction and Installation Instructions for the Composite Panel Bycatch Reduction Device with a Cone Fish Deflector

For more information contact:
NOAA Fisheries Service
Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Harvesting Systems Unit
PO Drawer 1207
Pascagoula MS 39568
Robert.D. Stevens@noaa.gov (228)549-1771 or Daniel.G.Foster@noaa.gov (228) 549-1763

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