SFF GITAG

GITAG - The Gear Innovation and Technology Advisory Group

The Gear Innovation and Technology Advisory Group (GITAG) seeks to build on the body of work around gear selectivity, catch and discards reducing devices.

The Group was formed in 2015 when the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation’s wholly owned subsidiary company SFF Services had secured funding from the Scottish Government and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to develop and trial innovative fishing gear exploring practical solutions aimed at reducing the amount of discards.

One of the difficult aspects of managing a commercial fishery, which targets a wild population, is that you don’t know exactly what species will be caught.  In mixed fisheries of this sort, discarding, or high grading, can be an issue. The stock would be larger and the fishery more productive if selectivity was improved in order to safeguard juveniles and minimize unwanted catches.

There has been a substantial amount of work undertaken historically to develop and test innovative and more selective fishing gears.  Marine Scotland Science, Seafish and other bodies have all assisted to develop selective devices and test the effectiveness of each one.

To recap, Phase I delivered four projects; three of which went to full charter and one which was essentially a development project.  Summary factsheets for three of the trials are available below.  The detailed reports will be made available in due course.

Remove Bycatch (MV Zenith)

Cod Avoidance (MV Atlas)

Separation of fish and nephrops (MV Amity II)

Reduce haddock and whiting (MV Aurelia)

Test 300 Square Mesh Panel (MV Eilidh)

Reduce cod and whiting (MV Valhalla)

Reduce capture of small fish (MV Serenity)

Modified Rock Hopper (MV True Vine)

Develop Selectivity (MV Amity)

 

Assess cod escape panel (MV Atlantia)

Release of undersized fish (MV Ocean Harvest)

Final assessment of separator net (MV Amity 3)

Reduce Cod and Whiting (MV Valhalla)

Modified Rock Hopper (MV True Vine)

Skate and Ray excluder (MV Olivia)

 

Knotless 100mm four panel square mesh cod end (MV Falcon and Shalimar)

 

Resources

Information on the Discardless project, which has collated information on a range of gear developments is available at: http://www.discardless.eu/selectivity_manual

Seafish have also produced a Gear Selectivity tool which is available at: http://www.seafish.org/geardb/

This project is supported by the Scottish Government and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.