eCite Digital Repository

The effect of mesh orientation on netting drag and its application to innovative prawn trawl design


Balash, C and Sterling, D and Binns, J and Thomas, G and Bose, N, The effect of mesh orientation on netting drag and its application to innovative prawn trawl design, Fisheries Research: An International Journal on Fishing Technology, Fisheries Science and Fisheries Management, 164, (April) pp. 206-213. ISSN 0165-7836 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Crown Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2014.11.018


Prawn fisheries around the world comprise fuel intensive enterprises currently stressed financially by rising diesel costs. An avenue for relieving the situation is to improve the energy efficiency of trawling by raising the productivity of fishing per litre of fuel consumed. This paper presents work to develop a new prawn trawl design that leads to reduced trawl system drag. The trawl has a ‘double-tongue’ format, which refers to extensions forward of the upper and lower panels to form two additional towing points for the trawl. For this design concept, named ‘W’ trawl, drag generated in the trawl is largely directed to the centreline tongues and transferred forward to the trawler through a connected sled and towing wire. The associated reduction of drag-transfer to the wings makes the trawl substantially easier to spread and results in smaller otter boards being required and subsequently reduced overall drag of the trawl system. The study determined the effect on frame-line tensions of implementing T0 (diamond) and T45 (square) mesh in the main body and side sections of trawl models of conventional and ‘W’ configuration, with the aim to establish an optimal combination of mesh orientation for the principle parts of the ‘W’ trawl. The objective was to achieve minimum netting drag and beneficial strain transfer within the trawl such that maximum trawling performance (catch per unit of fuel) might be obtained in the field. T45 mesh in the side sections of the trawl was found to exhibit a progressively lower drag compared to T0 mesh as the flow speed increased, but the extent of drag reduction was not of practical significance. The ‘W’ trawl showed a capacity of redirecting 59% of the total netting drag to the centre line tongues when T45 netting was implemented in the body section, and only 40% when T0 orientation was used. However, the introduction of bracing ropes (at E = 0.71) along the upper and lower centrelines of the T0 version of the "W" trawl improved the drag transfer to the tongues from 40% to 50% of the total drag. Overall, the most practical and economic configuration of the model ‘W’ designs tested produced an estimated drag reduction of 8.3% ± 0.6%, compared to the conventional trawl. It is expected that drag saving benefits in practice will be more substantial as the tested trawl models were not completely representative of practical commercial gear in that they had minimum twine area to make the experiment most sensitive to the drag-effect of mesh orientation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:drag reduction; prawn trawl; mesh orientation; trawl strain transfer; trawl efficiency
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Maritime engineering
Research Field:Ocean engineering
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in engineering
UTAS Author:Balash, C (Dr Cheslav Balash)
UTAS Author:Binns, J (Professor Jonathan Binns)
UTAS Author:Thomas, G (Professor Giles Thomas)
UTAS Author:Bose, N (Professor Neil Bose)
ID Code:98786
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:NC Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics
Deposited On:2015-03-02
Last Modified:2018-03-29

Repository Staff Only: item control page