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Compagnie des Pêches Saint-Malo and Euronor cod and haddock

Amount awarded: £41,163

This project aims to improve data around interactions with endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) species in the certified French cod and haddock fishery as well as the French saithe fishery.

The cod and haddock fishery was first certified in April 2012 while the saithe fishery has been certified since March 2010. However, both fisheries are currently struggling with limited amounts of independent observer data. This is because the length of fishing trips is very long (several months). However, these fisheries are considered low risk for ETP species because local Norwegian fishing laws that prohibit discarding are rigorously enforced.

Vessel logbook data and information collected by the Norwegian Institute for Marine Research (IMR) alongside the discard ban, provides enough information to estimate mortality of ETP species but not interaction rates. This is important as the fisheries could encounter species like basking sharks, spiny dogfish and porbeagle shark, which cannot be landed.

How the project will work

The project, supported by the MSC Science and Research Fund will increase the independent quantitative information available, in order to better assess the fisheries' impact on ETP species.

An observer from maritime data solution company SINAY will board the Emeraude freezer-trawler vessel for two months to collect the data, which will then be transferred to the Ifremer SIH database. Ifremer is a recognised French institute for marine research. The data will then be accessible to scientists developing stock assessments and indicators for fishing impacts in ecosystems.

It is hoped the information collected could be used to design and implement a strategy to manage any impacts that may be occurring to ETP species. The data will allow the fisheries to evaluate and improve their fishing practices, in order to help maintain their certification.

“This research will benefit ocean science as it will first expand our knowledge on endangered, threatened and protected species in the Northeast Arctic but also, all the data collected will be shared on the French halieutic database used by scientists to develop indicators on fishing activity, marine resources, and marine ecosystems.”

Romain Soisson, Head of Safety and Environment

Compagnie des Pêches Saint-Malo

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