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‘Positive’ early results from low-impact scallop gear trials

The automated scallopers Harmoni, skippered by Mark Roberts, and Night Star, skippered by Gary Buchan, have accomplished trials of dredge modifications in partnership with Heriot-Watt College and Bangor College.

A part of an 18-month venture scheduled for completion in March 2022, the trials are a part of the LISIG (Low Influence Scallop Innovation Gear) venture funded underneath the UK Seafood Innovation Fund, a DEFRA scheme administered by CEFAS.

The trials intention to analyze the practicality of dredge modifications which might be supposed to scale back seabed influence and gasoline consumption and improve profitability.

‘Positive’ early results from low-impact scallop gear trials

Harmoni and Night Star crew members helped to kind and measure the catches from a complete of 85 hauls in Welsh and Scottish waters, to match the catch and bycatch (animals and stones) of the traditional and modified dredges. (Photographs: Mark Roberts, Marija Sciberras)

Chief scientist supporting the venture Dr Marija Sciberras of Heriot-Watt College defined: “The primary intention of the venture is to judge the impacts of inserting skids on the stomach baggage of the dredges that increase them 10-11cm off the seabed. In doing this, we hope there will probably be some clear advantages in decreased drag, and due to this fact gasoline consumption, and decreased put on on the stomach baggage, in addition to decrease ranges of harm on seabed fauna.

“We’re having glorious help from the 2 skippers concerned, Mark from the Harmoni and Gary on the Night Star, guaranteeing dredge design is each sensible and sturdy.

“We’ve got aimed to strike a steadiness between the necessity for detailed information assortment and to take care of business viability, so the trials to this point have concerned two-mile tows, which entails lots of counting and measuring. We’re very grateful for the help we’ve obtained from the crew of each vessels with this work.”

‘Positive’ early results from low-impact scallop gear trials

Scuba diving trials have been carried out along with the gear trials earlier this summer time within the interior Moray Firth. Divers from Heriot-Watt college recorded fauna harm and mortality on the seabed following tows by the traditional and modified dredges. (Photograph: Invoice Sanderson)

Preliminary outcomes of gasoline consumption monitored by the Harmoni throughout business- as-usual business apply steered that consumption is unchanged – the bellies fitted with skids are heavier, however this appears to be offset by decrease drag. A future intention is to have a look at lighter-weight supplies which will present gasoline financial savings above and past this.

Mark Roberts stated: “The preliminary trials have been extraordinarily optimistic. We are going to proceed to make use of the gear over the approaching months to additional monitor gasoline utilization, put on on the gear and seabed influence.

“At a time when the general public are fairly rightly turning into more and more environmentally acutely aware, with a purpose to survive into the long run, the scallop trade should make each effort to scale back its environmental footprint by transitioning to a extra minimum-impact, maximum-return fishery by way of smarter working practices and harvesting methods, and guaranteeing the very best costs on the market.

“Key to this, after all, will probably be for each the catching and processing sectors to collaborate extra intently with the scientific neighborhood and fishing administrations.

“Because of all concerned on this venture from Heriot-Watt college, Bangor College and the Institute for Mediterranean Research (IMEDEA) for all their efforts to assist the trade by way of this venture.”

The scientific staff has just lately accomplished its work in Scottish waters aboard the Night Star, with divers assessing the dredged areas to report whether or not the seabed influence of the brand new dredges can also be decreased. A full evaluation of the trials, together with price/ profit evaluation of fishing with these dredges, will probably be obtainable in March 2022.

The UK Seafood Innovation Fund is run by CEFAS on behalf of DEFRA.

The programme encourages sustainable and revolutionary concepts to result in seafood safety, create new partnerships throughout seafood and expertise sectors, and contribute to sturdy evidence-based administration.

Discover out extra here and on Twitter.

This story was taken from the most recent situation of Fishing Information. For extra up-to-date and in-depth experiences on the UK and Irish business fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing Information here or purchase the most recent single situation for simply £3.30 here. Major photograph picture: Marija Sciberras.

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