Positive moves on prawn trawls

NephropsThe Scottish fishing industry is developing new and innovative designs of prawn trawls that significantly reduce discards of whitefish.

Working in partnership with the Scottish Government, the new designs of prawn trawl have achieved reductions of over 60% of cod caught when compared to a standard trawl, with one of the designs having the ability to reduce the cod by-catch by 87%. Several other trawl designs are in the process of being trialled and approved by Marine Scotland Science. 

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, says: “This is very much a case of fishermen taking matters into their own hands and delivering effective fish stock conservation.

“In the future the industry will continue to take a lead role in the development of selective gears for both the whitefish and prawn fleets.”

All in all this is very worthwhile, but why wasn’t it done before stocks had been greatly depleted ? The CFP may be a total mockery, but at least the carrot of ‘extra days’ for reduced discards spurred the sector into action.

It will also be interesting to see if these practices are also adopted by the West coast prawn fleet.

Category: Commercial

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