Electrofishing for Razor Clams Report

razor fishTrawling and tank based trials were conducted to assess whether electrofishing (which is currently prohibited under EU regulations) for razor clams Ensis siliqua and E. arquatus affects survival and behaviour patterns in Ensis spp. and non-target species.

The results suggest that electrofishing for razor clams does not have immediate or short term lethal effects, or prolonged behavioural effects, on vertebrate or invertebrate species exposed to the electric field generated.

So the question is obvious – why do the EU ban it if there is no issue, or, have Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science got it wrong ?

Read the report in full here.

The project set out to examine the electrofishing process and the potential localised effects on associated fauna.

The study did not address the broader question of long term sustainability of razor clam populations under various levels of commercial fishing activity, nor offer any advice on the amount of fishing effort which could be applied in the different areas supporting razor clam populations.

The authors recognise the need for such assessments to take place and recommend that the next stage should be quantitative assessments of stock size towards the development of a sustainable fishery scaled to the size of the resource.

Category: Scottish Government News

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