WRASSE FISHERY OBSERVER SURVEYS IN SW ENGLAND
Wrasse fishery observer surveys in SW England. Devon & Severn Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority Environment Officers are now undertaking observer surveys as part of the fully documented Live Wrasse Fishery in the Plymouth Sound. Using D&S IFCA’s RIB, officers are working with fishers to implement a new COVID-safe observer survey protocol that minimises health risks while allowing continued monitoring of fishing activity.
The data collection programme provides an opportunity for D&S IFCA to closely monitor the fishery, including any changes over time that may relate to sustainability, and to implement adaptive management.
The Live Wrasse Fishery targets wrasse for use in Scottish salmon aquaculture, where they clean parasites (lice) from the salmon. The salmon farming industry regards this as a more environmentally-friendly method of parasite control than using chemicals.
The fishery in D&S IFCA’s District re-opened for commercial fishers on 16th July 2020, following a closed fishing period from 1st May to 15th July that D&S IFCA implemented in order to allow wrasse to be protected during their spawning season. Four wrasse species have historically been targeted in this fishery: goldsinny, ballan, corkwing and rock cook. However, following a public consultation, a recent update to the Potting Permit Conditions has prohibited the removal of rock cook from the fishery.