Fishermen and Industry

Image © John Richardson, Shark Trust.

How will the project benefit fishermen and the wider industry?
With mandatory species-specific recording now in place for all elasmobranchs (sharks, skates and rays), the project will focus on supporting accuracy in identification, as well as compliance with existing regulations applicable to some species. As the accuracy of catch recording continues to improve, fisheries scientists will be better able to identify elasmobranch stocks which can support sustainable, profitable fisheries. Similarly, those stocks showing the greatest declines can be more effectively managed and protected and might again – in time – support well-managed fisheries. This will also afford greater opportunities for a regional approach to the management of these stocks.

Will the project affect the way in which fishermen operate?
We don’t envisage it affecting fishermen’s work. Fishermen already record their catch by species; however certain species can sometimes be difficult to accurately identify, especially when working at sea – for example catsharks, houndsharks and some rays. Shark Trust ID guides offer rapid, accurate advice on identifying all species shark, skate and ray species caught by Northern English vessels, while Commercial Fisheries Advisories supply straight-forward information on regulations, ensuring fishermen are not unknowingly caught out.  

To what degree will the fishing industry be involved in the project?
The Trust hopes to work with fishermen and their representative organisations, as well as seafood processors/retailers and maritime educators. Complementing this, the Trust will also engage directly with the North East and North West IFCA’s and the MMO, with resources available upon request.

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