The Seafish Gear Database, which is being unveiled at the Annual Scottish Fishing Conference in St Andrews today, features over 100 gear and selectivity profiles providing information on how to reduce bycatch for a range of species.
Aimed predominantly at fishermen, fishery managers, policy makers and environmental groups, it is hoped the information will provide the industry with some solutions ahead of the next phase of the Landing Obligation which comes in to effect for demersal (white fish) fisheries on 1 January 2016,
As well as detailed information on how the gears and selectivity devices work and the environmental impact, the profiles include illustrations, videos of the gear working and links to a wealth of discard reduction trials and other reports from various organisations over the past 20 years. This is the first time all of the available information has been hosted together in one place, making it easier to find it.
Mike Montgomerie, Gear Technologist at Seafish said: "Years and years of research have gone in to gear technology but much of it still remains a mystery. Until now, this information was scattered around in various places and in various formats. The Gear Database gathers much of this information and makes it easily accessible, allowing users to search by gear and selective device type or species.
“One of the key benefits of the database is that the catching sector will be able to access technical information on gear and selectivity devices to assist them in meeting the demands of the Landing Obligation. This should help them to operate their vessel in a profitable and sustainable way that is acceptable by fishery managers and the environmental groups.”
The database follows the recently published Basic Fishing Methods book by Seafish which provides information on a range of fishing gears.
To access the Gear Database visit www.seafish.org/geardb.