Voluntary Control Measures for the Live Capture of Scottish Wild Wrasse for Salmon Farms
1. Annual Fishery Closure
1.1. The fishery is closed from 1st December until 1st May
2. Landing Sizes
Catch size limitations will be as follows:
Small species including Goldsinny (Ctenolabrus rupestris) Rock Cook (Centrolabrus exoletus) and Corkwing (Symphodus melops)
2.1. Minimum size: 12cm to Maximum size: 17cm
Large species including Ballan (Labrus bergylta) and Cuckoo (Labrus mixtus)
2.2. Minimum size: 12cm to Maximum size: 24cm
3. Information and data gathering
3.1. Maintain and supply records of numbers, linked to total weights of wrasse caught and reported on the FISH1 Form.
In addition to data supplied on the FISH1 Form to local fishery offices:
3.2. Supply information on numbers of under and over-sized fish returned, by species for the first 20 traps deployed each week. This must relate to a specific entry in the FISH1 Form (location, total pots hauled, total weight by species).
4. Wrasse Traps
4.1. Only traps specifically designed to target and catch live wrasse and ensure their welfare will be used
4.2. Otter exclusion devices, such as a fixed-eye aperture, will be used at the entrance to the trap
4.3. Traps will be lifted at a maximum rate of 6m/minute
4.4. Traps should not be deployed / lifted when the water temperature is >17oC
5. Effort control
5.1. Fishermen will not deploy more traps than can be hauled in one day and in any event not exceeding 250 traps.
5.2. A list of boats catching wrasse for supply to the salmon farming sector will be maintained by the SSPO.
6. Agreements and due diligence
6.1. All fishermen catching wrasse will have an agreement in place to supply wrasse to a salmon farming operator or via an intermediary.
6.2. As a minimum, this needs to state the intention to meet the agreed voluntary measures.
6.3. All fishing operations will be subject to an annual audit. An annual internal audit by the receiving farming company should be carried out to ensure the fishermen are meeting the conditions of these voluntary measures and agreed supply conditions.
7.1. Fishermen and fish farmers should meet the requirements of the industry's Code of Good Practice for Scottish Finfish Aquaculture. This details requirements to be met by both the fishermen and the fish farmers when catching and deploying wild wrasse in salmon farms.
7.2. All wild wrasse being caught for use on salmon farms should meet the latest requirements in the RSPCA Assured standards. This standard requires that the wrasse are caught and handled with the highest regard to their welfare. This ensures that wrasse are in the best possible condition for deployment on the farms, thus ensuring they are used as efficiently as possible. This, consequently, helps minimise the number of fish that need to be taken from the wild.
8. Science and research
8.1. The wrasse fishing sector and the salmon farming sector agree to assist and cooperate with Marine Scotland Science to further understand the wild fishery for wrasse in Scotland and ensure its sustainability.
8.2. Work to identify spawning areas and times will be undertaken to ensure protection of caught species during peak breeding activity.