Effects of abandoned static fishing gear

gorka sancho gsancho at azti.es
Fri Apr 6 09:07:18 EDT 2001

Dear List members,

Apologies for cross-posting, we’re trying to get as much coverage as

We are part of a research partnership looking into the effects of lost or
abandoned static gear. The programme is called Fantared 2 (from ‘redes
fantasmas’) and it involves research partners and the fishing industries of
six countries in north and west Europe. We are supported by the European
Union and are now in the fifth and final year of our investigations. So far
we have looked at methodology, surveyed fishers’ experiences and simulated
gear losses in a wide range of fishing environments. We have also been
monitoring the experimentally lost gears to see how they and their catches
evolve over time.

Part of our programme is also to look at possible mitigating measures so
that, where there are problems of significant losses and continued fishing,
we can make appropriate recommendations. To do this we want to build up a
base of information on the  measures taken in non-European countries to
reduce gear losses and to limit residual fishing life.

One very important finding we have is that the reasons for loss and what
then happens to the lost gear is very specific to a fishery in terms of the
level of conflict with towed gears, ground condition, etc, etc. Many
fisheries don’t have problems but, where they do exist at a significant
level, it is worth trying to find solutions. We think that any solutions
must be based on the nature of the problems. As with most things to do with
fisheries there’s no ‘one size to fit all’.

We are not only interested in any regulatory measures taken (mandatory
reporting of losses, recovery cruises, reduced soaking times, etc), but also
in gear modifications designed to reduce the loss of fishing gear or its
fishing life (biodegradable materials, weak links to promote breaking of
gear, etc) employed in other countries. We are also particularly interested
in any measures that are ‘fisher-centred’, involving agreements to reduce
conflict, to zone effort or to limit the amount of gear worked.

It would also be very helpful for us to receive opinions from managers,
scientists and fishers regarding the effectiveness of these measures, the
costs associated with their implementation, the changes in fishing practices
caused by them and their degree of acceptance by fishers. If there are
schemes that are particularly interesting and relevant to conditions in
Europe then we would also like to arrange visits to talk to the fishers and
managers involved.

Please send us any information that you think would be of interest to our
team. We will summarise all the responses to the list but we also hope to
have a complete issue of ‘Fisheries Research’ devoted to this work sometime
in early 2002.

Feel free to post to the List but please ensure replies are also sent to:
Gorka Sancho <gsancho at azti.es> and Phil MacMullen
<p_macmullen at seafish.co.uk>

Best regards

Philip MacMullen, Dag Furevik, Esteban Puente and Gorka Sancho
- on behalf of the Fantared partnership

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