Workshop 2 on innovative fishing gear

Report ICES WKING2 Released

The report is available at: https://ices-library.figshare.com/articles/report/Workshop_2_on_Innovative_Fishing_Gear_WKING2_/24299146

Reference: ICES (2023). Workshop 2 on Innovative Fishing Gear​ (WKING2). ICES Scientific Reports Vol. 5(97), Eds. A. Sala, J. Calderwood, S. Eayrs, K. Hamon, N. Steins. https://doi.org/10.17895/ices.pub.24299146.v2

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In this report we convey on additional performance criteria that were included in the factsheets, based on review of the WKING report and discussions arising from WKING2. These include the perceived level of “Complexity”, “Capital cost”, and “Return on Investment”. Questions were also included that sought information related to operational and health and safety considerations, while others were based on the PESTEL framework, designed to evaluate the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors that may play a role in the uptake of innovative gear. Collectively, these additional performance criteria were an attempt to better understand main drivers that may influence the uptake of the innovative gear. We contacted members of the Joint ICES/FAO Working Group on Fishing Technology and Fish Behaviour (WGFTFB) and other relevant individuals seeking advice on innovative fishing gears. These individuals were invited to complete a revised factsheet with details describing an innovative gear they had developed and/or tested, including performance details.

The WKING2 report is based on the innovative gear catalogue containing an additional 75 factsheets which includes two updated innovations of gears (e.g. shrimp pulse trawl and Flemish panel) present in the previous WKING report.

The EU projects, Discardless, Minouw, SmartFish, GearingUp, and EveryFish were also reviewed to identify innovative gear, and to the extent practicable a factsheet was produced. Limited STECF (Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries) plenary meeting and EWG reports were also consulted.

Based on information provided in the factsheets, it was found that:

  • Almost 80% of innovations were categorized as having a high level of technological readiness and only 4% were categorized as having a low level of technological readiness. Almost half (47%) the innovations were perceived to have a minimal level of complexity, and most (80%) of those gears were also deemed to have a high level of technological readiness. Almost one-third of the remaining innovations were perceived to have a medium level of complexity and moderate or high technological readiness level.
  • Most (80%) innovative fishing gears were considered to result in a positive effect (incremental, transformative, or disruptive improvement) in catch efficiency, and most (80%) of these were also considered to have a high level of technological readiness. Those gears considered to result in a negative improvement in catch efficiency require further development, and despite their medium to high level of technological readiness it is unlikely fishers will adopt these gears unless they provide substantial improvement elsewhere, i.e. reduce fuel costs.
  • When considering gear selectivity, most (80%) innovative fishing gears were deemed to result in a positive effect (incremental, transformative, or disruptive). Most (78%) of these innovations were also considered to have a high level of technological readiness. Five gears were considered to result in a negative improvement in selectivity and require further development or discarding, despite their high level of technological readiness.
  • Most (64%) innovative fishing gears were considered to result in a reduction (incremental, transformative, or disruptive) of the impact on the marine ecosystem. Most (77%) of these innovations were also considered to have a high level of technological readiness. There were zero innovations with an increased impact compared to the baseline gear, and 27 with no effect.
  • The PESTEL framework, based on six factors (e.g. political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal), was used to provide additional performance criteria to better understand the main drivers that influence the uptake of innovative gear.
  • Initial use of PESTEL questions in the factsheets, and feedback received during the workshop, indicate that numerous, and often combined, factors are likely to influence gear uptake. More thorough and systematic collection of these data, based on an improved framework as developed in the workshop, is required before any conclusions can be drawn as to what factors encourage or impede uptake of innovative gears.
  • Most factsheet responses (53%) indicated that deployment and retrieval of the innovative gear was not expected to be any different from the baseline gear, while 28% of innovative gears were considered to make deployment and retrieval of the gear more difficult. Less than 10% of innovative gears were thought to be easier to deploy and retrieve.
  • Most (44%) innovative gears were likely to be more difficult for fishers to maintain and repair compared to the baseline gear while one-third were thought to make no difference, and 12% to be easier to maintain and repair.
  • Almost three-quarters (72%) of innovative gears were thought to have similar impact on fisher health and safety as the baseline gears and only 1% to present a higher risk to health and safety.
  • Reference to the innovative gear reducing fuel consumption and or greenhouse gas emissions was apparent in 19 (25%) factsheets.

The report concludes that most innovations reported in the factsheets were deemed to be ready for adoption by industry, subject to minor alteration to suit operational and design differences between vessels.WKING2 attempted to understand where impediments may be delaying the uptake of these gears by industry, although the data only permits identification and analysis of trends and indications. Some recommendations to improve data collection in future are also included.

The public page is here: https://www.ices.dk/community/groups/Pages/WKING2.aspx

Anto (on behalf of the Core Group Steve, Katell, Nathalie, and the co-chair Julia)

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