The collaborative nature of the trial, involving the key regulators of inshore shellfish harvesting, scientists and industry, helped to ensure that its objectives were progressed during a particularly challenging year due to the pandemic. The regulators of inshore shellfish harvesting continue to report high levels of compliance with the rules and regulations.
A significant amount of biological, sampling and fisheries data has been collected which continues to be collated and analysed, there has also been an encouraging increase in the self-sampling from fishers and processers. Work on age determination and deriving area specific growth parameters for razor clams and investigating length based stock assessment methods is underway and monitoring of the volume and size distribution of landings, fishing effort and the footprint of the fishery continues. Collectively, this work will improve the evidence base and enable MSS to evaluate possible approaches to stock assessment and appropriate management of any future fishery. MS Science have a data pipeline in development as part of the Scottish Government Data Science Accelerator Programme to improve matching of REM data with landings data, a challenge encountered on other REM projects.
All the findings from the trial will be considered before any decision is made about the future approach to electrofishing for razor clams in Scotland.