Fish INTEL: September update
September was an exciting month for the project, with one tuna migrating to northern Spain and our scientific paper being published!
French partners have tagged 304 fish (bass and Pollack) in Brittany and Normandy waters. Receivers have been placed in current windfarm locations, and in those where future windfarms are to be constructed in the Baie de Seine in Normandy.
Data from Pollack (Pollachius pollachius) has shown the fish dive to over 90m depth!
University of Exeter are tagging and tracking magnificent bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus). Since last summer, 30 have been tagged successfully and ten have been detected, with most at the Isles of Scillies (having been tagged off Falmouth). One tuna has already moved south to northern Spain – a distance of about 700km!
By contrast, the movements recorded by spiny lobster (Crawfish) in the Isles of Scilly were condensed and restricted. 70 crawfish have been tagged so far, with plans to tag another 30 by the end of this month. Data has shown us these animals move a matter of metres, rather than 1000s of metres.
Credit: Jean-Luc Solandt
Credit: University of Plymouth
Interaction with stakeholders (French and UK partners)
Katia Frangoudes, a social scientist from the University of Brittany (UBO), has undertaken research to get views and perspectives on fisheries conservation needs from northern and western French fishers.
This information is being combined with detailed habitat maps to map areas of use and areas of sea that provide important habitats for the species we’re tagging.
So far, the UBO team has collected information from over 120 sea users in France alone, with affiliations from more than 20 associations.
Marine Conservation Society updates
Research paper published
Our researchers and policy experts have just published a paper on fishing activity on and around windfarms.
This is relevant to Fish INTEL as two of our partners – France Energie Marine (FEM) and VLIZ in Belgium - are tagging and tracking fish within ocean windfarms.
Our paper has revealed that fishing using bottom trawls is reduced by 77% in the areas of offshore windfarms. This is important, as previous research from VLIZ reveals that fish are attracted to windfarms and may stay there longer than they would if the wind turbines and associated rich seabed life were absent.
Sharing insights at Fishmongers Hall
We’ve also been invited to a meeting in November about tracking salmonids (mostly trout and salmon) in UK and French rivers.
We’ll be sharing our tracking information from Fish INTEL, and giving advice on Marine Protected Area law with conservationists attempting to protect essential fish habitat for these species. It'll be of great interest, and value, to share our knowledge in that cross-channel project.
International Marine Protected Areas Congress
Several team members, including our Principal Specialist of Marine Protected Areas, Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, will be travelling to and presenting at the International Marine Protected Areas Congress in Vancouver in February next year.
At least three of our projects will be discussed in the international panel discussion forum - from the roles of UK Inshore Fisheries Groups to making MPAs well managed, and deep seabed monitoring we've been doing in Cornwall to how to make MPAs truly effective. Our team are very excited to attend this event!
You can keep up to date with activities in the field by following Fish INTEL on Twitter: @FISH_INTEL