The project aims to develop economically viable gear which reduces bycatch and environmental impacts associated with the UK scallop fishery to catch king scallops.
Heriot-Watt University and partners are working towards an economically viable gear innovation that reduces bycatch and environmental impacts associated with the Newhaven scallop dredge that is commonly used by the UK scallop fishery to catch king scallops (Pecten maximus). The aim of the proposed modifications is to reduce the environmental footprint of the chain bag on the sea bed, to facilitate the riddling action of the bag and to reduce wear and friction. During the project, evidence of the environmental and economic benefits of the LISIG gear will be collected during scientific field trials and commercial practice with fishermen in terms of catch efficiency and selectivity, reduced environmental impacts (fauna mortality, CO2 emissions), reduced costs and improved profit margins. This evidence base will be essential to promote uptake of the proposed innovation by both industry and UK policy makers. The innovation supports the UK’s move towards sustainable fisheries and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and responds to the industry’s ever increasing need for sustainably-sourced seafood. Although the project will run for 18 months, our results dissemination strategy and engagement with the industry and policy makers will ensure that LISIG will continue beyond the Seafood Innovation Fund timeline to achieve real life benefits to the UK blue economy.