Instrument: Beam Trawl

 Beam trawl
External Identifier:
» skos:broadMatch

A beam trawl consists of a cone-shaped body ending in a bag or codend, which retains the catch. In these trawls the horizontal opening of the net is provided by a beam, made of wood or metal, which is up to 12 m long. The vertical opening is provided by two hoop-like trawl shoes mostly made from steel. No hydrodynamic forces are needed to keep a beam trawl open. The beam trawl is normally towed on outriggers, one trawl on each side.

While fishing for flatfish the beam trawl is often equipped with tickler chains to disturb the fish from the seabed. For operations on very rough fishing grounds they can be equipped with chain matrices. Chain matrices are rigged between the beam and the groundrope and prevent boulders/stones from being caught by the trawl. Shrimp beam trawls are not so heavy and have smaller mesh sizes. A bobbin of groundrope with rubber bobbins keeps the shrimp beam trawl in contact with the bottom and gives flatfish the opportunity to escape.

Close bottom contact is necessary for successful operation. To avoid bycatch of most juvenile fishes selectivity devices are assembled (sieve nets, sorting grids, escape holes). While targeting flatfish the beam trawls are towed up to seven knots, therefore the gear is very heavy; the largest gears weighs up to 10 ton. The towing speed for shrimp is between 2.5 and 3 knots.