Fish & Fisheries News

Monday November 14, 2022

One Year On: Supporting Industry-led Fisheries Science 

Last year, The Fishmongers’ Company, Fishing Animateurs, and Fishing into the Future formed a collaborative approach to fisheries research whereby fishers and scientists jointly develop a scientific proposal, based on a set of research needs set by the government with stakeholder input. This coalition, the Fisheries Industry Science Partnership (FISP) Network, works to connect fishers with scientists to identify potential research areas and unlock funding.

In 2022, the Animateurs spent February and March visiting ports across the UK to get ideas from industry. Ideas range from understanding new fisheries, creating more selective gear and reducing bird bycatch. From there, we have linked fishermen with researchers to develop project proposals. In 2022, FCFCT provided £180k to fund key research projects, that would have otherwise not been developed. The matched funding helped to leverage funds over £2.5m. 

FishTek Marine: Scallop lights as being trialled as a low-impact method of catching scallops

Projects That Have Secured Funding 

  • Identifying the most viable solutions and gear modifications to reduce bycatch in UK Nephrops fisheries. Lead applicants: Fishers, Peter Clarke (the Lily James) and Andrew Mack (Bright Ray), MarFishEco and Seafish 
  • Evaluating lobster fishery opportunities at an offshore wind farm in the UK. Lead applicants: Welsh Fishermen’s Association and fisher Carl Davies, Aberystwyth University and Bangor University. 
  • Addressing the impact of lost shell fishing gear. Lead applicants: Holderness Fishing Industry Group (HFIG) In partnership with the University of Hull 
  • Investigating toxicity of pyridines to crustaceans, bringing evidence to the mystery mass crustacean mortality events in NE England (not FISP) Project leads: Whitby Commercial Fishing Association, Northeast Fishing Collective, Newcastle University 
  • Using ‘disco’ lights to attract scallops into pots and traps. Lead applicants: FishTek Marine, Skipper Jon Ashworth, and other individual fisheries across England and Scotland.  
  • Stock and population assessments for brown crabs in England and Wales, Lead applicants: Crab and Lobster Management Group, Bangor University, Seafish, Aberystwyth University. 
  • Stock assessments for king crab in the northeast of England. Lead applicants: Holderness Fishing Industry Group (HFIG) and fisher Karl Price, University of Hull. 
  • Quantifying ecosystem Benefits of UK Oyster Aquaculture Sites. Lead applicants: Envision, Atlantic Edge Oysters, Lindisfarne Oysters, University of Essex  

We also provided seed funds to support the development of the fisheries science ‘Centre of Excellence’ housed by the Highlands and Islands University and based in Shetland.  

FishTek Marine: Scallop PotLights

Projects in the Making 

There are more projects in the making for this winters’ round of the FISP and UK Seafood Innovation Fund. 

Projects include: 

  • Developing ropeless creels to reduce cetacean bycatch 
  • Adding value to scallop by-product 
  • Enhancing shellfisheries with oyster cultivation 
  • Trials of catalytic hydrogen system designed to reduce carbon emissions in fishing vessels   
  • Stocks assessments for herring and sprat in the Irish Sea 

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