Commercial fishermen now rely on scientists

In a 180 degree ‘U turn’ from 20 years ago, commercial fishermen now support the scientific analysis regarding fish stocks.

Why, because they feel fisheries scientists offer the best opportunity to defend them from policies which they believe are influenced by the exaggerations, superficiality and sheer nonsense by some of the more extreme green NGOs and their allies in the sensationalist media.

In the past, when ICES recommendations for the following year’s quotas were announced the scientists producing them and the recommendations themselves were held to ridicule by the commercial sector with constant claims that scientists had no understanding of the commercial fishing sector and that their methods were totally inaccurate.

According to an NFFO spokesperson : “There are many strands to the story of why and how the relationship between fishermen and fish stock assessment scientists has matured over the last decade. The Fisheries Science Partnership projects; changes in thinking and personnel in ICES; the end of the era of widespread misreporting of catches; the establishment of regional advisory councils; a different mind-set in the industry; improving stocks and higher TAC recommendations ; and involvement of the industry in key ICES and STECF meetings have all played their part.

“What is also remarkable is the degree to which the fishing industry now relies on science. It is the fishing industry, facing unsupported assertions from the more extreme wing of the environmental NGOs, and their allies in the media, which now demands evidence, rigour, impartiality and a systematic analytical approach.”

In other words, the scientific method.

Category: Commercial

Comments are closed.