Fisheries & Conservation Science Group

Sustainable Fisheries for Wales Project

Foreword by Jim Evans

The Welsh Fishermen’s Association –Cymdeithas Pysgotwyr Cymru  Ltd (WFA-CPC)  are pleased to be associated with Bangor School of Ocean Sciences and the European Fisheries Fund Project “Sustainable Use of Fisheries Resources in Welsh Waters”. The scientific surveys outlined within the Project work packages are essential to inform the future management of fisheries and the Welsh marine environment. In these uncertain times scientific evidence will be the foundation on which we can collaboratively future proof our industry.

The WFA-CPC fully supports Bangor School of Ocean Sciences  in this project, the aims and objectives including the innovative methods being developed to collect valuable data on a variety of species of importance to Wales. This includes the participation of fishermen in collecting data for stock assessments, with remote methods that capture the data neccessary without impacting on their working day. This work will be a keystone to the successful management of Welsh marine resources, an area which has historically been data deficient in Wales.

The WFA-CPC would strongly encourage industry participation in this unique opportunity to actively contribute to an extremely valuable data set that will ultimately be owned by industry and added to beyond the project term.

We would like to wish Mike Kaiser and the Bangor School of Ocean Sciences Project Team every success with this challenging undertaking.

Jim Evans

Introduction

The Welsh fishing industry is primarily an inshore fleet with only 10% of fishers working in offshore waters (beyond six nautical miles). Consequently, this inshore fleet is dependent on the sustainability of the local stocks. This is in comparison to nomadic or offshore fleets which can operate extensively around the UK or further afield and are therefore not reliant on local sustainability. It is imperative to the livelihoods of Welsh fishers that the key species providing income to the Welsh fleet are managed sustainably. However, very little information is available on the distribution, abundance and biology of these target species in Welsh waters which makes the sustainable management of these fisheries very difficult.

This project aims to put in place a programme of scientific evidence gathering through collaboration between academics, industry and government funded bodies and policy makers and managers which will inform management decisions to work towards a truly sustainable future for Welsh fisheries.

The project relies on extensive involvement in data gathering by the fishing industry and there has been substantial expression of support from industry with scientists and fishermen working together to ensure the future of the industry.

The project is split into five work streams:

  • Gathering of fishermen’s knowledge through interviews and questionnaires;
  • Habitat mapping;
  • Distribution and abundance of different target species;
  • Connectivity of populations;
  • Management and policy.

As well as working in close connection to the fishing industry this project will collaborate with the Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), CEFAS and scientists at Aberystwyth University.

The project is funded by the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and the Welsh Government.

Scallops

Crustacea

Whelks

Finfish

Mussels