Scottish fishing technology adopted as new global standard

April 29, 2022 by No Comments | Category Collaborations, Fisheries, Marine Directorate general, Marine Directorate Science

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has agreed to adopt a new Scottish-designed fishing technology as the new international standard for co-ordinated demersal fish population surveys in the North Sea.

The Marine Scotland Directorate of the Scottish Government co-operated with international partners – the International Bottom Trawl Survey Working Group (IBTSWG) – to successfully develop this innovation, which assists in calculating accurate fish stock data, and feeds into the ICES fisheries monitoring and management process and supports the sustainable management of our seas.

The new fishing technology incorporates advances in net design and fishing technology gained over the decades.

Key design changes compared to the old system are:

Lemon Sole

Lemon Sole, a type of demersal fish thats caught using this method.

  • reduction in net mesh sizes (from 200mm to 100mm), and
  • new light ground gear

Overall it provides a robust package which is more efficient, resilient and cost effective, as well as delivering consistent catches and better fish population estimates.

The new fish survey trawl package will replace the Grand Opening Vertical (GOV) survey model used since 1980, after it was recognised as no longer fit for purpose. A road map has been agreed to enable a smooth transition to the new technology, making sure there is no impact on surveyance of yearly fish stocks. It is hoped this transition will be completed within three years.

Further information:

  • Demersal fish are also known as ground fish and live on or near the bottom of the sea / lakes (the demersal zone). Examples include: Atlantic cod, herring, plaice and turbot
  • ICES is an intergovernmental marine science organisation which meets to provide impartial evidence on marine research, and advise member nation governments and international regulatory commissions on the health of fish stocks and the sustainable use of the world’s seas and oceans

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