A new partnership to support research that delivers more sustainable and effective fisheries has been created, backed by £150,000 from the Scottish Government.
The Fishing Industry Science Alliance (FISA) will decide on funding applications for projects that further scientific knowledge of Scottish fisheries – including studies into uses of new types of fishing gear, information gathering where stock data is poor, and developing sustainable catch strategies for inshore fishing.
FISA will be overseen by the Fisheries Management and Conservation Group, the government-industry initiative launched in 2011. A steering group will be announced in the coming weeks, which will request and decide on applications for FISA funding.
Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “To support sustainable fisheries we need to have the best scientific understanding possible. Scotland is well positioned, with world-leading fisheries science operations based here. However, the fishermen themselves can provide a valuable contribution and this funding will support such work.
“New types of fishing gear, which help vessels target some fish species and avoid others, are important as Scotland seeks to cut out the wasteful practice of fish discards. Developing more accurate stock data is also important in enabling the right quota decisions to be made for each fishery.
“FISA will support this work, delivering robust and scientifically-verified results with the benefits shared across the fishing industry. Through government and industry working in close cooperation on science we can deliver more effective and sustainable fisheries that will help our fishermen and the stocks.”
The work of FISA will be taken forward by a steering group, which will be established by the Fisheries Management and Conservation Group (FMAC) in the coming weeks, so that FISA can become active early in the new financial year. £150,000 funding from the Scottish Government will be provided for 2012/13.
FMAC was established in June 2011 and provides a new method of co-management for Scottish fisheries. FMAC is a decision making body and discussion forum concerned with all issues impacting the industry. Find out more at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/marine/Sea-Fisheries/FMAC
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