The 23.5 m MFV ‘Stella Nova’ DA57  which took part in the trials during August 2014, while targeting Nephrops.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has published a report on fishing gear trials that has been conducted by their Fisheries Conservation team.

The team carried out the gear trials over several years targeting nephrops and whitefish using different technologies in trawling and seine-netting scenarios.

The results of the trials were broadly positive with the percentages of bycatch reduced and the quality of the fish boarded increasing.

BIM’s Fisheries Conservation team work closely with the Irish fishing industry to develop technical solutions that reduce unwanted catches. 

This helps address challenges posed by the EU landing obligation and boost fisheries sustainability by decreasing landings of small (juvenile), over-quota and non-target species. 

This updated guide contains summaries of technical solutions developed since 2014 and categorised as follows:

  1. Small, over quota and non-target fish species in Nephrops trawls 
  2. Small Nephrops in Nephrops trawls 
  3. Small, over quota and non-target fish species in demersal trawls 

The landing obligation is primarily implemented through discard plans which specify detailed requirements for demersal fisheries in North-Western waters. 

These include survivability and de minimis exemptions which permit some continued discarding, and gear measures that aim to avoid unwanted catches during fishing. 

New gear measures are also implemented through other legislation, such as remedial measures under the annual EU Regulations on fishing opportunities. 

The full report on the gear trials can be read here.

BIM Fisheries Conservation team publish fishing gear trials results

by editor time to read: 6 min