Fisheries Science

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Follow this link to view the ICES Bass advice for 2014

There is so much controversy around regarding the accuracy or otherwise of the scientific advice that is provided primarily by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and based on data provided by, amongst others, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) in the UK, that no one seems quite sure of what is actually out there in our seas.
It is certainly clear that the observations of working fishermen differ markedly in many respects from the results of surveys, studies and computer modeling that are used as a basis for the setting of Total Allowable Catches that in turn produce the Member State quotas that are then subject to debate and decision making at the annual Fisheries Council, held in December of each year.

What is vital, and only now beginning to be recognised and accepted by fisheries scientists, managers and ICES itself is that the observations of fishermen are valid and could make a significant contribution to their knowledge and understanding.

NUTFA actively encourage members to make a positive contribution to data collection, and to assist fisheries scientists through practical means to more clearly understand marine processes.

NUTFA recognises the need to break down barriers between scientists and working fishermen and to replace suspicion with trust. This obviously requires an effort on both sides but we have to start somewhere!

NUTFA Members are well placed to contribute to these processes, working primarily on inshore grounds that often carry a higher level of biodiversity than some offshore areas. In addition, the recent headlong rush to introduce Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) tends to be focussed on these coastal areas, making it important that the knowledge, as well as the requirements of the inshore sector, are fully taken into account.

NUTFA is therefore committed to making a significant contribution to fisheries science and encourages members to act accordingly.

Do discarded fish survive?

This is an opportunity to collect the evidence.

Cefas is looking for vessels within ICES areas IV and VII to participate in a programme on discard survival.

Discard Survival Trials - Tender Information

Species with evidence of high survivability are exempt from the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) landing obligations and may be returned to sea. This is an opportunity for fishermen to examine the survivability of various species, & potentially highlight species that could be exempt from the discard ban. As well as taking part in field trials, fishermen will be asked to attend steering group meetings, driving the development of these field trials. In addition, to be involved in the development of practical guidelines to improve discard survival.

Cefas is looking for vessels within ICES areas IV and VII to participate in a programme on discard survival. The study will run for a three month period between January and March 2013. In partnership with Cefas scientists, the fishermen involved in this field programme will pro-actively improve scientific knowledge and understanding of discard survival within the UK fisheries ahead of the upcoming CFP reform landing obligation.

During this study we will be looking at the following fisheries;

Area IVc/VIId gill/trammel netters
Area IV otter trawlers
Area VIIb, c, e–k otter trawlers
Area VIIe (inside 12nm) beam trawlers.
The evidence gained from these studies will then be used by policy-makers and scientific advisors to determine if certain species, or fishing methods, can justifiably be exempt from the landing obligations.
Full details of the terms and conditions, and specific information needed to tender, and a template tender form may be found here:
Tenders must be submitted by 16:00 on Friday, 3 January 2014
By post: Peter Randall, Cefas, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft NR33 0HT
Or by email: [email protected]

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