Grant aid for key tuna study
Published in Fishing Monthly
20th March 2003
SOUTH-WEST of England Pesca have disclosed that Newlyn fish merchant and processor Robin Turner has been awarded a grant under the Objective One fisheries programme for Cornwall for over £40,000 to conduct a pilot project to find out whether there is a commercial and environmentally sound fishery for tuna.
The aims of the trial are to see if tuna species are present in South West of England waters and to see if they are accessible to small inshore vessels using fishing gear, which will not affect other species.
A highly experienced Cornish skipper and crew will man the vessel being used and will be working alongside a skilled marine biologist to complete the trial. Specialist equipment has been fitted to the vessel in order to carry out the survey. The equipment will allow the crew to attract and safely catch the tuna, bringing it alongside the vessel, where it will be identified, measured, tagged and released.
Once the trial has been completed a comprehensive report will be prepared detailing the methods employed and a discussion of the feasibility of pursuing tuna commercially for the South West using small boats on an ongoing basis.
Robin Turner, J H Turner & Co commented: “As a fishing innovation I believe that this experiment could break some new and exciting ground for the future, with the ability to accurately record what is going to take place during the study.”
Spike Searle, Project Officer of South West Pesca added “This project is an exciting and innovative attempt to properly assess a stock before deciding on how best to fish for it – sustainably.”