International Fisheries Representative Visits Great Lakes

Submitted article

</p>Photo courtesy of University of Rhode Island Department of Fisheries
Photo courtesy of University of Rhode Island Department of Fisheries

An international fisheries representative recently visited New York’s Great Lakes region to study open water trawling techniques and vessel design. As part of an October educational visit to the U.S., Tomas Juza (at right in photo), a Ph.D. student with the Institute of Hydrobiology at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, visited the Atlantic coast and NY’s Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

Juza visited on behalf of 14 nations: Czech Republic, Poland, France, Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Hungary, Russia, Estonia, and the Netherlands.

Juza joined fish assessment biologists and Great Lakes commercial trawlers at an open water trawling workshop organized by Rhode Island Sea Grant in collaboration with Great Lakes and marine Sea Grant programs and the Canadian fisheries agencies.

New York Sea Grant Fisheries Specialist David B. MacNeill (left in photo) facilitated Juza’s visit to New York’s Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River region. Juza took photos and detailed calculations on a variety of design aspects of the trawling vessels he boarded on Lake Ontario at Oswego, and on Lake Erie at Dunkirk. In the photo above they are seen aboard a National Marine Fisheries Services trawler off the Rhode Island coast.

“This has been a perfect learning experience for me,” Juza said. “My country will use what I and colleagues from Russia and Finland have learned to design and build a trawling vessel for use in assessing adult fish populations in Czech reservoirs that are stocked for recreational fishing.”

“New York Sea Grant was very pleased to provide Mr. Juza with a hands-on opportunity to experience open sea trawling and inland freshwater fisheries assessment on the Great Lakes,” MacNeill said.

The Czech academy has grant funding to begin building their new trawling vessel for a summer 2009 launch. To date, the Czechs have only evaluated fry populations nearshore. The workshop information and hands-on learning on the American waters will enable the Czechs to effectively collect fish in deeper, offshore waters of their reservoirs. The Czech institute has also contracted with other European Union countries to sample their inland fisheries.

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