The Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association (SPFA) and the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on working together on scientific research and its application to fisheries management.
The MoU outlines how SPFA and Cefas will work in partnership to maximise the benefits on the collection and analysis of scientific data on pelagic stocks, as well as the development of science research.
The collaboration also underlines the commitment of the Scottish pelagic sector to embrace science and ensure a sustainable future for the industry by participating in a range of research programmes.
The MoU covers:
- Knowledge sharing on pelagic science issues and priorities - so that options on how the industry and Cefas can work together to address them can be considered.
- Identifying and developing new collaborative research – engaging in research initiatives that are consistent and mutually beneficial with respect to SPFA Science Plan and Cefas Science strategy.
- Collaboration on the development of surveys for pelagic fish stocks - defining priorities, design and development of surveys.
- Joint planning of scientific surveys using industry vessels – to support the UK commitment as a coastal state to undertake scientific surveys where a SPFA vessel may be required as a research platform.
- Fostering continuous improvement in pelagic fish stock assessment – application of new data, knowledge and development of future methods.
Richard Nash, Principal Scientist Marine Fisheries at Cefas said: “Moving forward with the assessment and advice for pelagic fish stocks involves input from both industry and scientific research laboratories. This MoU provides a foundation for the SPFA and Cefas, a UK science institution, to work openly and collaboratively together on pelagic fish stocks.”
Dr Steven Mackinson, Chief Scientific Officer of SPFA said: “Collaboration is fundamental to progress science on pelagic stocks, and this MoU is an exciting milestone in the SPFA’s efforts to professionalise its engagement with UK science institutions”.