The Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group is committed to engaging resources into a wide range of scientific work to enhance our knowledge of our pelagic stocks.
Such information can be used be marine scientists (International Council for the Exploration of the sea and others) to help in the stock assessment and management arrangements for pelagic fisheries. It can also help fishermen manage their activities in a way that ensures the conservation of fish.
To help spearhead this work, the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association (SPFA) recently appointed their own marine scientist, Dr Steven Mackinson. The new Chief Scientific Officer role is supported by the SPFA, the Scottish Government under the auspices of the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and the Scottish Fishermen’s Trust.
The scope of the activities of our fishing boats, and the wide sea area they cover, offers the ideal platform for collecting marine data on a much more comprehensive scale than would otherwise be possible.
As well as catch data, pelagic vessels are also currently being used as the platform to gather an array of information by other means, including acoustic surveys and egg surveys.