Scots pelagic fishermen scoop sustainability award

The Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association and Fisheries Innovation Scotland (FIS) won the Fishing News Sustainability Award last week (16 May) for their study on scientific self-sampling

The project, which included the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Scottish White Fish Producers Association and Marine Scotland Science, resulted in a feasibility study into a scientific self-sampling programme for the pelagic sector.

Fishermen often question scientific surveys and sampling schemes, and scientists can doubt the reliability of catch data.

FIS asked the SPFA and the University of Aberdeen to look at opportunities to improve both trust and data quality on either side. Providing scientific data through self-sampling is seen by fishermen as a welcome opportunity to directly contribute to the continuous improvement of stock assessments.

This new FIS report identifies opportunities for the Scottish pelagic industry to collect and contribute relevant data to support the assessment of stocks and management of fisheries. It also discusses how self-sampling schemes might help to address information needs in less data-rich situations, such as those in demersal and Nephrops fisheries.