01/15 - Using commercial and survey data to infer real-time fish distribution in the North Sea at high resolution
Aberdeen University and the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association Ltd will undertake a study to refine a prototype fish distribution model. This will allow existing commercial and scientific data sources, which have previously been incompatible, to be used in combination. This is a necessary first-step towards creating highly-resolved spatio-temporal maps of near-real time fish distribution that are of relevance to the industry and managers.
05/15 - Discard survival and condition in Orkney brown crabs
Heriot-Watt University and the Orkney Sustainable Fisheries will undertake a study on the discard survival and condition of Orkney brown crab from commercial creel vessels. The results of the study have the potential to feed into stock assessments and sustainable fisheries management frameworks developed by the Orkney Management Group.
09/15 - Verification of important areas for juvenile shellfish in Orkney waters
Clive Fox (Scottish Association for Marine Science): Razor-fish have become an increasingly valuable commodity in recent years with most being exported to Asia. Electrofishing is a highly efficient method for catching razor-fish but is presently banned. Compared with other methods, such as hydraulic dredging, the electrofishing method seems likely to cause less habitat damage so the industry are keen for it to become a legal fishing technique. The main concerns are therefore its efficiency and the potential for entire beds of razor-fish to be removed. The project will trial towed-video in combination with electrofishing as a possible method for rapidly assessing the number and sizes of razor-fish in a bed. Such information could potentially be collected by fishers themselves and used by inshore fisheries groups to manage razor-fish harvesting using electrofishing in a sustainable manner.
13/15 – SMAC2: Slippage Mitigation and Acoustic Characterisation: Phase 2
Paul Fernandes (Aberdeen University): The landings obligation of the European Commission’s current Common Fisheries Policy requires all pelagic fishing vessels to land all of their catch, effectively banning the practice of “slippage”, as it is known in the pelagic industry, of small less valuable fish. This project aims to provide tools to determine the size of mackerel prior to capture and so avoid slippage. SMAC.2 will collect data from a new specially adapted broadband sonar (developed in SMAC.1) during fishing operations for mackerel on board a research vessel; sizes of mackerel will be estimated from these data and compared to the actual sizes caught.