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Ongoing discards debate boosts take-up of gear technology
Published:  02 May, 2012

Seafish chief executive outlines reduction strategy in new video.

A new video released by Seafish, the authority on seafood, has revealed that the ongoing debate over discards has sparked an increase in take-up of gear technology.

For more than 15 years, Seafish has been leading the development of this technology, designed to help reduce discard rates.

In the four-minute long video, filmed at Newhaven harbour in Scotland, Seafish’s chief executive, Paul Williams, explains recent industry response to the long-established research programmes which exist to address the issue of discards.

The industry authority also runs the Discard Action Group (DAG) – a forum established in 2008 which brings experts together to discuss how the problem can be addressed to reduce discard levels.

Watch Paul Williams’ discards video here:

Paul Williams, chief executive, Seafish, said: “Discarding unwanted fish is widely acknowledged as an issue affecting almost all fisheries and fishing methods and, although significant progress has already been made towards reducing the levels of discards, the rate of change needs to be stepped up.

“With the increasing importance of social, economic and political factors in fisheries management, Seafish gear trial work over the last 15 years has helped develop new selective technologies and net-based fishing activities to reduce discards. This technology is now being rolled out in commercial fisheries.

“Seafish is managing a new project to trial four different highly selective TR2 gears operating on Irish Sea Nephrops grounds and running flume tank and sea trials on a new grid design aimed at reducing the numbers of discards in the Scottish trawl fishery for Nephrops.

“The importance of this gear technology work is evident in the popularity of the courses Seafish runs at the Flume Tank at the North Sea Centre in Hirtshals, Denmark, operated by SINTEF. Seafish has been using the facility since 2007 for practical trawl gear technology training and an essential part of all courses is to familiarise fishermen with a wide range of methods of improving selectivity of their trawls and reducing discards. In the last four years, more than 200 fishermen have benefited from the training courses.”

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