The Marine Institute has developed an online app (desktop and mobile friendly) to help fishers identify areas of consistent catch rates over multiple years. The app can used to avoid areas with high catch rates of choke species and juvenile commercial fish.
As part of Discardless – a project funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme – the Marine Institute is working with partners from twelve countries to develop strategies to gradually eliminate discards in European fisheries.
Since the introduction of the Landing Obligation (LO), selective gear technology is being used to reduce unwanted catches, and solutions are contributing to avoiding catches of choke species and juvenile commercial fish.
Researchers from the Marine Institute are developing mapping techniques to identify consistent patterns in catches on Irish fishing grounds. Using data collected from Irish, French and UK fishing vessels in the Celtic Sea, they are producing maps for all TAC species that show where fish are regularly caught.
Users can view species-specific maps based on category, season and catch size,below and above the minimum conservation reference size. Another option adds layers from multiple maps to compare catches of different species in one area. This will assess where they are most likely to overlap and determine how they interact with each other.
This interactive technology provides a platform for tailor-made information relevant to each individual, and can highlight what is of most interest. By using this information to maximise catches of commercially important species while minimising catches of choke species, fishing opportunities could be extended under the LO.
The app is now available. Users are invited to give feedback on ease-of-use and to share ideas, to develop the tool to meet the needs of the industry.
Queries or feedback to Julia Calderwood: [email protected]