Update: Joint industry/science research projects funded under the 2015 FISA call

January 5, 2016 by No Comments | Category Collaborations, Marine Directorate Science

The FISA Steering Group has awarded over £130,000 of Marine Scotland funding for collaborative projects involving Scottish fishermen and scientists.

Four new projects are receiving funding directed at improving knowledge on data limited stocks, analysing under-utilised fisheries data and reducing unwanted catches through improved gear technology.

Following a call for proposals and selection process, the Fishing Industry Science Alliance (FISA) allocated the Marine Scotland funds for projects covering the North Sea, Orkney, the east and the west coast.


Marine Scotland allocates up to £150,000 per year to the Fishing Industry Science Alliance, administered by Marine Scotland Science. FISA aims to combine the expertise of fishermen and scientists to enhance knowledge and support effective management for sustainable fisheries. The FISA Steering Group evaluates applications and has representatives from a range of organisations including Marine Scotland, Aberdeen University, RSPB, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association Ltd and the Western Isles Fishermen’s Association. Once a range of projects has been selected, the Fisheries Management and Conservation Group (FMAC) finalise the list within the financial limits and the set of agreed projects is published.

As FISA is now in its fourth year, a number of projects from the previous years of funding are coming to an end. Once complete the final reports for these projects will be uploaded to the FISA webpages.

Details of the four new projects

Aberdeen University and the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association Ltd have been awarded £46,688 for 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.

Heriot-Watt University and the Orkney Sustainable Fisheries have been awarded £13,500 to 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.

A further £35,000 has been allocated to the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and the Outer Hebrides and North West Inshore Fisheries Groups (IFGs). This project will determine whether the use of video cameras, in conjunction with electrofishing equipment, could be used to assess the stock status of razor clams in Scottish waters. If such a method proves feasible and cost effective it would provide a practical tool for assessing inshore razor clam populations.

Another £35,169 will contribute towards a larger scale project between Aberdeen University, Marine Scotland Science and pelagic fishermen to determine the size of mackerel prior to capture, and so avoid slippage. This project will build on an work funded by Fisheries Innovation Scotland (FiS) and will field test and develop mackerel sizing algorithms using adapted broadband sonar. This will demonstrate the feasibility of estimating the size of fish in a school of mackerel during research vessel fishing operations and compare the estimates of fish size from the sonar with those from the catch.

Further Information


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