fishing gear discard trials taking part

22nd August 2017

The main driver behind the project is the landing obligation/discards ban,

The Northern Ireland Gear Trials project has been up and running since February 2017 and has involved close collaboration between several different management and research bodies in addition to direct engagement with industry. The main driver behind the project is the landing obligation/discards ban, a key component of the new common fisheries policy, that will be fully adopted by 1st January 2019. Given the concerns around the issues associated with choke species, the Northern Ireland project is working hard to ensure that the Northern Ireland fleet, and more specifically, the nephrops fishery, have options post LO.

Progress so far

Since early February we have been actively engaged in regular informal discussions with skippers, fishermen, gear manufacturers and others with experience of the industry. Focused gear development workshops at the three busy harbours of Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel have taken place and we continue to use social and print media to promote the project. The aim of these discussions and workshops has been to collect and collate ideas on how commercial nephrops fishing gear can be improved, modified or replaced to allow fishermen to more effectively target the species they seek whilst avoiding unwanted species, undersized fish and juveniles of all species. Many good ideas have been collected and collated and from this we have now shortlisted some of the suggested designs to take forward to manufacture and trialling. A preliminary trial of two developmental fishing gears is due to commence imminently however we also intend to run more extensive trials at sea this year where a third, novel design utilising light technology will also be put through its paces alongside the two more conventional ideas mentioned above.

Further invitations to tender for trial work

We will soon be sending out further invitations to tender for trial work this year and therefore urge all owners/skippers of commercial nephrops trawlers operating as part of the Northern Ireland fleet to keep in touch with their prospective POs who will be in contact with them. Any interested parties should wait for their PO to provide them with the information on how to apply however for any general enquiries of if you would like to know more about the project you can contact the project manager at ni-geartrials@outlook.com or visit our facebook page - Northern Ireland Gear Trialling project 2017-2019. The Northern Ireland Gear Trials Project will continue throughout the remainder of 2017 and on into 2018. Whilst the date for full implementation of the landing obligation creeps steadily closer we remain confident that a close collaborative approach between industry, technologists, scientists and managers will lead to more efficient and selective fishing gears being developed and ultimately adopted.

like to know more about the project?

you can contact the project manager at. ni-geartrials@outlook.com


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