Developing the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to determine the efficiency of commercial scallop dredges and underwater video (UWTV) systems.
The king scallop Pecten maximus is the most valuable wild caught fishery in England. Cefas and scallop industry partners have recently started producing annual stock assessments to enable better monitoring and management of these important stocks. The assessments rely on two fishery independent surveys: Scallop dredge surveys to determine biomass estimates in fished areas and underwater video (UWTV) surveys to determine abundance of scallops in unfished areas. Neither survey method captures all of the scallops in the path of the sampling equipment and gear efficiency coefficients are used to relate survey catches and observations to biomass. These coefficients are integral to Cefas’ assessment methodology and will increase robustness in the assessments, which will inform fisheries management decisions and in turn move towards the long-term sustainability of the UK scallop fishery.
The technology will be used to determine scallop dredge and UWTV efficiency estimates and validated alongside a visual marker method. In the first instance further development and optimisation of the equipment will be carried out, followed by testing on a research vessel and then trials in a commercial environment on board fishing vessels.
Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)