Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Evidence Gathering in Support of Sustainable Scottish Inshore Fisheries

The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) is providing £1.4 million of funding through Seafish to support research within Scottish inshore fisheries. This is in direct response to Scotland's Inshore Fisheries Groups (IFGs) recognition that there is a lack of evidence (data) upon which to better manage Scotland's inshore fisheries. The project ‘Evidence Gathering In Support of Sustainable Scottish Inshore Fisheries’ has been commissioned to take place between June 2014 and July 2015, in support of the future sustainability of the industry and consists of 7 sub-projects or “Work Packages”.

The funding from the EFF therefore aims to benefit the IFGs by addressing key knowledge gaps identified in their management plans. These include, for example, establishing the location and footprint of fishing activities, improving catch data to enable stock assessments, improving local market opportunities for inshore fisheries, and developing an information resource base for inshore fisheries management. This pilot work is part of a 7 year project plan which will include accessing additional funding from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), thereby contributing to the longer-term development of the industry and sustainable fisheries management. The contractors commissioned to deliver the Work Packages are now seeking engagement with the industry to undertake their research. The results will be used to inform future fisheries policy, therefore ensuring the programme runs in close working partnership with IFGs, is of paramount importance.

Project Objectives:

WP1. Establishing the location of fishing activities within Scottish inshore areas 

Objective: To establish the feasibility of collecting and utilising information on the location of individual inshore fishing vessel activity through the use of an automated electronic reporting system based on VHF technology.

WP2. Monitoring fishery catch to assist scientific stock assessments in Scottish inshore fisheries

Objective: To identify target fisheries with limited scientific stock assessment information, provide opportunities for inshore fishing vessel involvement in the scientific catch monitoring process and through collaborative working, improve the knowledge base and ability for inshore fishermen to contribute to stock assessment programmes.

WP3. Identifying catch composition to improve Scottish inshore fisheries management using technology to enable self-reporting

Objective: To investigate the potential for catch composition information to be derived from small inshore fishing vessels through the innovative use of technology; and to assess the use and cost effectiveness of such information within scientific assessments of data deficient fisheries.

WP4. Pilot study to define the footprint and activities of Scottish inshore fisheries by identifying target fisheries, habitats and associated fish stocks 

Objective: To examine in a discrete area the range and quality of historic and developing fishing location and activity data available together with habitat, hydrographic and fisheries science information, and to establish a platform allowing such data streams to be combined. The outputs will be assessed in relation to an improved understanding of the environmental links supporting inshore fisheries and fish stocks.

WP5. Improving market intelligence and fishery production co-ordination in Scottish inshore fisheries

Objective: To evaluate the potential for landing an increased proportion of inshore fish catch, and strengthening overall sales revenues, through informing the markets of local landings availability and advising fishermen of wider market opportunities.

WP6. Integrating stock management considerations with market opportunities in Scottish inshore fisheries 

Objective: To undertake a pilot assessment of the potential economic and associated benefits of establishing minimum market landing size in excess of minimum legal landing size for key shellfish species; and to evaluate if such an intervention could be undertaken at a regional level.
WP8. Establishing a dedicated information resource base for Scottish inshore fisheries

WP8. Establishing a dedicated information resource base for Scottish inshore fisheries 

Objective: To determine the availability of information required for inshore fisheries management purposes and identify appropriate means for the provision and utilisation of such information in the local decision making process

More info here:

Download the info pack here: