05/14 - Verification of important areas for juvenile shellfish in Orkney waters
Fiona Matheson (Orkney Fisheries Association):The juvenile scallop project aims to continue research into scallop stocks in Orkney by working with scientists who will train local scallop divers in scientific recording techniques in order that they, in turn, will be able to provide sound information on stock distribution and densities and continue monitoring work into the future. Little is known about the quantities of King Scallop in the fishery or how robust stocks are and this kind of information will help fishermen to look after the stocks sustainability from an evidenced based perspective.
06/14 - Fish tagging study on data limited stocks in northern waters
Paul MacDonald (North Atlantic Fisheries College): The main objective of the project is to obtain movement data on a range of data limited species e.g. monk, megrim, lemon sole and plaice caught within the northern North Sea, by undertaking a tagging study. Some initial tagging was undertaken during 2013 and early 2014 and this is starting to provide valuable new data which will be enhanced by undertaking further tagging on a wider range of grounds and over a longer time period. The work will be undertaken during the summer of 2015 and the NAFC fishing vessel Atlantia II will catch, tag and release a number of different species in the northern North Sea around Shetland over a three week period. Fish will be captured and brought aboard the vessel using a 'live' codend, ensuring that tagged fish are kept in optimal condition. A publicity campaign will highlight the study and request fishermen and processors to return tagged fish for a small reward. Tag returns will be collated and results disseminated as appropriate.
09/14 - An investigation into the commercial viability of fish traps and jig fishing in the scottish demersal fishery
Paul MacDonald (North Atlantic Fisheries College): The primary aim of the project is to investigate the commercial viability of fishing with demersal fish traps in the northern North Sea and a combination of fish traps and jigging with automated handlines on the west coast of Scotland. Developing this environmentally friendly fishing method may provide the inshore sector with additional options for undertaking an alternative demersal fishery. In order to do this, commercially available, collapsible traps will be trialled on the NAFC fishing vessel Atlantia II in the northern North Sea for a 6 week period in the summer of 2015. Additionally, custom designed collapsible traps will be trialled along with automated handlines on the inshore vessel Silverspray on the west coast of Scotland for one year from March 2015. Catch composition and condition (including bycatch) will be recorded in each location and the commercial viability of the fishing method will be assessed.