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BATmap’s successful implementation leads to expansion into Nephrops fishery

January 17, 2024

BATmap’s successful implementation in the west of Scotland whitefish fishery led to vessels in the Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation (SFO) and the Clyde Fishermen’s Association (CFA; Clydefish) expressing interest in developing similar capacity for more effective bycatch avoidance in the Nephrops fishery.

SFO and CFA vessels make up a significant proportion of the mobile gear vessels operating in inshore waters of the Firth of Clyde and surrounding areas. While unwanted catches are predominantly low in this fishery, there are a small number of species occasionally encountered in the Nephrops fishery that could potentially cause choke issues at certain times of year.

A partnership between the CFA, SFO, and the University of Aberdeen was recently awarded funding from Round 4 of the Fisheries Industry Science Partnership scheme (Seafood Innovation Fund) to implement BATmap in the west of Scotland Nephrops fishery. The project has also received generous support from the Fishmongers’ Company (The Fishmongers’ Company).

The new project will customise the BATmap software for implementation in the Nephrops fishery and roll it out to a sub-set of vessels. The project will also collect data to evidence the ability of real time bycatch reporting to: 1) encourage skippers to share information; 2) improve spatial selectivity of fishing effort; and 3) reduce bycatch. The project began in the spring of 2023 and will be completed by March 2025.