Safeguarding seafood through sea management

Feb 19, 2014
Safeguarding seafood through sea management

The increasing concerns about 'food security' for the UK, alongside dwindling public investment in fisheries research has led some to question how we can meet future knowledge needs to sustainably manage our seas.

Scientists at Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences argue that despite their economic importance to the UK fisheries sector, not enough is known about scallop fisheries in the UK.

Each year in the UK 58,000 tonnes of scallops are caught which are worth £69m at first sale alone. The retail and restaurant value is significantly greater.

Bangor University has hosted a 3 year PhD study of the English Channel scallop fishery to help plug the science gap in a project funded by a consortium of fish processors, fishing companies, the supermarket Morrisons and the charity Fishmonger's Hall.

Prof Michel Kaiser who is the lead supervisor on the project said: "This PhD is significant for a number of reasons, not least because it shows how fishing interests now appreciate more than ever the importance of good science to underpin the future of their businesses. This is also hugely important to the UK as a whole as more people question how safe and sustainable our food sources really are."

Mark Greet the Chief Executive of Falfish Ltd. who is one of the key sponsors of the project said: "An unsustainable scallop fishery is bad for business and we were being held back by a lack of science on this fishery. The long-term aim is to put the fishery forward for Marine Stewardship Council certification.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

"While this may be some way off, the project puts in place many of the key elements needed and we now know far more about scallops in the English Channel as a result of Bangor University's science.

"We now better understand the distribution of scallop fishing across the English Channel and the specific habitat types in which scallop fishing occurs. We also have better insights into when and where the scallops spawn at different times of the year.

"I believe that other parts of the UK's fishing industry can also learn some valuable lessons from this research, including the importance of collaborating with others in the industry to commission research which will benefit us all in the future."

Safeguarding seafood through sea management

PhD student Claire Catherall said: "This project has depended heavily on the support of individual fishermen along the English Channel who have accommodated me on their boats and allowed me to study their catches.

Safeguarding seafood through sea management
Claire Catherall delpoying seabed camera.

"Fishermen have been very willing to answer questionnaires on patterns in their fishing behaviour and have been very open in providing access to their vessel tracks so we can map which areas of the sea are affected by scallop fishing."

Explore further: WWF calls for satellite technology on all commercial vessels to increase transparency of fishing activities

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New 'Seahorse' sees scallops in new way

Sep 02, 2012

(AP)—A new underwater explorer has hit the seas armed with cameras, strobes and sonar and charged with being a protector of sorts to the valuable Atlantic scallop catch.

Why we need to put the fish back into fisheries

May 20, 2013

Overfishing has reduced fish populations and biodiversity across much of the world's oceans. In response, fisheries are increasingly reliant on a handful of highly valuable shellfish. However, new research by the University ...

Google Earth reveals untold fish catches

Nov 26, 2013

Large fish traps in the Persian Gulf could be catching up to six times more fish than what's being officially reported, according to the first investigation of fish catches from space conducted by University ...

Recommended for you

Reducing pesticides and boosting harvests

22 hours ago

Scientists in Italy are experimenting with sound vibrations to replace pesticides. Adapting different eco-friendly methods they are able to boost harvests and open up a new chapter in sustainable farming.

Native vegetation makes a comeback on Santa Cruz Island

22 hours ago

On islands, imported plants and animals can spell ecological disaster. The Aleutians, the Galápagos, the Falklands, Hawaii, and countless other archipelagoes have seen species such as rats, goats, brown ...

Power lines offer environmental benefits

23 hours ago

Power lines, long considered eyesores or worse, a potential threat to human health, actually serve a vital role in maintaining the health of a significant population, according to new research out of the ...

User comments : 0