Fish & Fisheries News

Thursday March 31, 2022

The Fishing Industry Request Scientific Support 

The fishing industry have been responding to the Fisheries Industry Science Partnership (FISP) Network with their ideas for research projects that fulfil the criteria of Defra’s £10 million Fisheries Industry Science Partnership (FISP) scheme. The Network, on behalf of the industry, is now working with the scientific community to develop these ideas further and obtain funding. 

The government’s FISP scheme funds fisheries and aquaculture research that is collaborative across stakeholder groups (industry, government and academia). In response to the FISP scheme, a coalition of three charities – The Fishmongers’ Company’ Fisheries Charitable Trust, the Fishing Animateurs and Fishing into the Future – developed the FISP Network with the objective to support the voice of the industry and grow partnership working. By coordinating and disseminating information between industry and academia, the Network hopes to identify studies that are a priority for the fishing industry but that also meet the research needs of government and address major issues that are pertinent to fisheries management objectives. Match-funding from the Fishmongers’ Company is available for successful bids that have been supported through the FISP Network. 

Some ideas collected so far… 

Improving Prawn Fishing Selectivity

Prawn fishermen in Scotland and the north-east of England are looking to reduce the bycatch of whitefish whilst otter trawling for prawns. They have found that using coverless trawls improves the selectivity of their gear. They are looking to do a gear trial to better understand the impact of this method.  

King Crab Fishery in Bridlington

A crab and lobster fisherman off the Bridlington coast wanted to look at the viability of a new fishery in the area. Fishermen were noticing more deep-water king crab / stone crabs being caught, possibly due to changes in water temperature. They want to do stock assessments on the species and trial new fishing areas and gear. 

New Fishery in Mallaig

Fishermen, with 40 years of experience in the industry, wanted to understand more about whether sprat, squid and/or herring could be viable, sustainable fisheries, off the coast of Mallaig, west Scotland. Most fishermen in Mallaig target prawns using trawling methods. They have noticed the prawn season reducing year on year, despite a decline in fishing effort. If prawn stocks fail, the Mallaig fleet has no quota to fall back on and there would be a collapse of the industry. These skippers would like to understand whether there is an alternative fishery they could pursue alongside prawns. Studies of interest include trialling new fishing grounds and gear, stock assessments and, understanding life cycles. 

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