Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Solutions to stop fishermen returning dead and dying marine animals back into sea

28.10.2004


Scientists have produced a potential solution to a problem fishing activity which costs the industry millions of pounds and has a major impact on the marine environment worldwide.

A team from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, writing in the academic journal Marine Policy, say fishermen should be given incentives not to return unwanted fish and other marine animals – known as ’discards’ – back into the sea after they are caught in their trawlers’ nets.

The study focused on the North Sea, which is bordered by Norway and the European Union countries Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland and the UK. However, there are plenty of other places in the world, such as North America, which have similar problems with discards. The findings of the research are expected to inform European Union policy about discards. Discards are mainly young or damaged fish or sea life that cannot be sold because there is no market for them, or, if taken back to shore, would exceed the fishers’ catch quota.



Almost one million tonnes in weight and many millions of pounds worth of discards – including haddock, cod, whiting and flatfish like plaice, sole and dab - are thrown back into the North Sea after they are caught in trawlers’ nets every year, and they are usually dead by the time they are returned to the water. This quantity equates to nearly one-third of the total weight of fish brought ashore, and one-tenth of the estimated total of biomass of fish in the North Sea.

For the study, the Newcastle University research team examined the political conditions, management strategies, behavioural attitudes and economic incentives associated with discarding. They analysed a variety of data sources, including industry communications, debate transcripts and scientific and technical texts.

The team, from Newcastle University’s School of Marine Science and Technology and the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, estimate that discarding will have severe long-term economic consequences. The discarding of juvenile fish has been a major factor in depleting the North Sea stocks and continues to threaten the long-term sustainability of fish populations.

Although the full extent of the consequences on the marine environment are not known, discards are considered to have contributed to the growth of several seabird populations such as the fulmar and the lesser black-backed gull. It is estimated that North Sea discards could potentially support over six million seabirds.

The team is calling for fisheries management authorities to restrict access to certain areas of the sea where the unwanted fish are likely to gather, and for gear such as fishing nets to be adapted so that they may be more selective. Under the proposals, those who comply with the rules would be allocated more fishing days at sea as an incentive.

The research paper’s lead author, Tom Catchpole, said: "Millions of pounds of potential fish landings are lost through discarding. For the improvement of stocks like whiting, haddock and plaice it is essential that discarding be reduced. "The main problem is that it would initially be at a cost to fishermen. Direct compensation has not been forthcoming, therefore, incentives must be generated by alternate means.

"Granting better access to fishing grounds or allowing more fishing time to those who fish more selectively are methods that have proved successful. Once these incentives are created, fishermen’s knowledge should be used to develop acceptable fishing techniques and short-term losses would quickly become long-term gains."

Co-author, Professor Chris Frid, said: "For hundreds of years, people in the fishing industry have been aware of the need to reduce the number of discards, and they are committed to achieving it. The problem has always been – how?

"Although part of the solution could be to close off certain problem areas, enforcing this rigidly would be difficult as the small fish tend to move around. Authorities need to take a flexible approach so that there is minimal disturbance to day-to-day fishing activities but maximum benefit to the ecosystem."

Professor Chris Frid | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>