Two pilot projects funded in early 2007 are complete. The reports for pilot Project A, studying the selectivity of a square mesh panel in a Nephrops trawl to reduce discards of whitefish, and for pilot Project B, a scoping study on what information could usefully and easily be obtained on fleet activity and gear use, are now available.
Sifting of Proposals
The Consultative Group met on 2 July and considered the 18 ideas put forward by industry and science providers. After a full discussion of all the ideas, the Group assigned priorities to each. This information, together with the key comments, was passed to the Steering Group who decided which ideas would be followed through, with either Marine Scotland Science (MSS) internal resources, or SISP funding. Some ideas will combine both MSS internal and SISP funding, through commercial vessel charters. The Steering Group also put a limit on the expenditure for each approved idea.
Five ideas were approved and accepted to be put into action in 2007/08. A further three were approved, but there were insufficient Partnership funds to allow them to go ahead in this round and they can go forward to be reconsidered for funding in 2008. Six ideas were deferred because the Groups did not have enough information to allow them to make a final decision. They also may be re-submitted with a more detailed proposal. Finally four ideas were rejected.
Of the five ideas to be put into action, four can be funded from MSS internal resources although any commercial vessel charters will be tendered in the normal way, using SISP funding. The fifth idea cannot be addressed using MSS resources, and hence the full project went out to tender during September 2007. A detailed specification of the work was made available and industry/science partnerships were invited to put in detailed bids for the work. Standard government procurement procedures were used to select the winning bid.
The individual projects are now up and running. MSS has appointed a liaison officer for each project to monitor progress and help the partnerships if required. A final report will be produced on each project and this will be available in due course (see example pilot Project A).