Fisheries Science Projects for 2009/2010

26th January 2009 in Fisheries Science

The Federation will shortly be submitting its suggestions for fisheries science projects for the coming year. Member organisations are invited to submit projects for consideration.

Defra is committed to funding up to £1 million worth of FSP projects in each of the next two years. Since the FSP programme was established in 2003, based on the idea of close collaboration between fishermen and fisheries scientists, it has produced a whole new tier of scientifically valid fisheries data that has filled gaps in the more conventional assessments. It has also gone a long way towards breaking down barriers between fishermen and fisheries scientists.

Around two thirds of the FSP projects are part of a time series in which annual surveys aboard commercial fishing vessels build up a picture of trends over the years; these complement and strengthen the information obtained from scientific survey vessels, by using commercial gear and fishermen’s direct knowledge.

Apart from the time series, there is however a budget this year of £320,000 for one off projects and it is this that the Federation is inviting members to submit project suggestions for. The final projects are selected by a committee involving Defra officials, Cefas scientists and NFFO representatives, taking into account the intrinsic worth of the project and regional and sectoral balance. The selection of the actual fishing vessels which undertake the work is through a system of competitive bidding overseen by Cefas.

The success of the Fisheries Science Partnership Projects since it was established has led to it being copied elsewhere in the UK and Europe.