Fishing net. Photo: Jens Astrup

Fisheries Technology

DTU Aqua’s research into fisheries technology focuses on the development of selective and low-impact fishing gear which can help limit unintended by-catches and minimise the impact on the marine environment. 

Main themes within Fisheries Technology research

Research into fisheries technology has two main themes:

  • Low-impact, selective and effective fishing methods
    DTU Aqua conducts research in low-impact, selective and effective fishing methods which enable targeted fishing for specific species and sizes. The aim is to reduce by-catches and discards as well as to reduce the impact on the marine environment. 

  • Energy-friendly fishing
    The development of more energy-friendly trawl fishing is a new research field at DTU Aqua. Among other things, we conduct research into how trawls can be designed to be more easily pulled through the water. The goal is to reduce the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of the fishing vessels.

Why do we do research into Fisheries Technology?

Fisheries technological solutions are one of the keys to ensuring sustainable utilisation of the sea’s resources. Trawl mesh size and shape, for example, play a role in determining the size of fish and fish species caught. 

The EU’s common fisheries policy thus includes regulations stipulating the design of fishing gear for various types of fishing. The authorities therefore need research-based advice on an ongoing basis. 

At the same time, the development of state-of-the-art fishing methods plays a key role for the efficiency and competitiveness of the fishing industry.

The demand for research in low-impact and selective fishing methods from both authorities and the industry is expected to see an increase, not least because the EU has introduced a general landing obligation, which is gradually implemented in 2015-2019. The main task in this connection will be to reduce unintended catches of fish, and selective fishing gear and methods will thus be crucial.

Fisheries technologies also have an impact on the energy consumption of fishing vessels. Pulling fishing gear through the sea accounts for the majority of the fuel consumption. Fishing gear thus has an impact on the emission of greenhouse gases from the fishing industry and for the industry’s fuel costs. There is thus a need for conducting research into the development of energy-optimal fisheries technologies.  

What is the research used for?

The results of DTU Aqua’s research in fisheries technology are especially used in our consulting services to the authorities involved in the management of fisheries: the EU and the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. 

In addition, we offer consulting services to international organisations such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

A significant part of the research and development activities are carried out in collaboration with the fishing industry and the fishing gear industry which use the research results in the fishing activities and the manufacture of nets etc.   

How do we carry out the research?

In collaboration with the fishing industry, DTU Aqua develops low-impact, selective and effective fishing methods, and the tests are carried out from commercial fishing vessels. Much of the selective fishing gear which results from this is today used in commercial fishing.   

We test the newly developed fishing gear in Denmark’s most advanced test tank at the North Sea Science Park in Hirtshals, North Jutland, where DTU Aqua also conducts its research into fisheries technology.  



Research Leader
Ludvig Ahm Krag
Ph. +45 21 31 64 57


Camera technology for trawl fishing makes it possible for the fishermen to monitor the catch process in real time. This video shows a demonstration of technology developed by DTU Aqua in collaboration with ATLAS MARIDAN.

Sustainable Development Goals

DTU Aqua's research into fisheries technology supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

SDG #14   UN Sustainable Development Goal #2

SDG #13