Western Herring Survey shortlisted for sustainability award

The Western Herring Survey – a pioneering and collaborative international study involving pelagic fishermen and scientists – has been shortlisted for The Fishing News Sustainability Award.

This ground-breaking project was set up to address a shortfall in scientific knowledge of West coast herring by identifying the different stock components within the area and their relative abundance.

Under the project, fishermen and scientists joined forces to mount to collect such data, the results of which could be used by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) when assessing the stocks and monitoring a rebuilding plan.

This ground-breaking project was co-ordinated by marine scientists’ Dr Steven Mackinson of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association (SPFA,), Martin Pastoors of the Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association (PFA) and Dr Susan Lusseau of Marine Scotland.  Other partners were the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, IMARES Netherlands, Thuenen Institute Germany, Marine Institute Ireland, University College Dublin, and the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation.

Dr Steven Mackinson, chief scientific officer of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We are delighted that this study has been shortlisted for a Fishing News Sustainability Award. This project is seen as being a major step forward in helping the west coast herring fishery become viable and sustainable once more, thus benefiting our fishing communities and the wider marine environment.”

The Fishing News Awards 2018 will be held in Aberdeen on 24 May.