Monday, 14 May 2012 07:10

Study set to revitalise cod fishing

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Study set to revitalise cod fishing

THE Countryside and Community Research Institute is examining the impact of different practices on cod fishing.

Based in Gloucestershire, the CCRI is undertaking the research for the North Sea Regional Advisory Council (NSRAC).

It will also explore ways in which commercial fishermen and vessel operators might adjust to different management measures.

As part of the review process, the CCRI is contacting vessel operators to explore their experiences of the Cod Recovery plan, and their views on a range of alternative management approaches.

All fishing vessel owners and operators are being invited to take part in this review by completing a short 10-minute online survey.

Completed questionnaires will be collated and data analysed by experts.

Findings will be presented to the European Union's Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), which is charged with reviewing North Sea and Western Waters fisheries management.

Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations, said: "This is an opportunity to influence the future direction of cod management measures and I would urge fishermen to complete the survey".

The survey was important as it was one of the few ways in which the views of fishermen could be directly heard by scientists on the STECF.

Fishermen have been struggling to survive economically, and to reduce discarding of fish under the current Cod Recovery Plan, while operating within quota constraints and restrictions.

The CCRO believes these are rather blunt instruments that do not adequately take into account the true nature of the mixed fisheries that exist around UK coastlines.

The questionnaire aims to explore a wider range of management options and control mechanisms that might provide more freedom for fishermen to fish.

All proposed management mechanisms come with stringent surveillance and monitoring requirements but offer the opportunity for more flexible application of control measures.

These are aimed at reducing discards of cod and other species, while giving individual vessel owners and operators greater opportunities to use their knowledge and judgement.

The survey is available at by clicking here. It closes on 4 June.

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