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Objective One fisheries grant for shellfish stock survey

Objective One Fisheries Investment of £17,250 will enable Cornwall Sea Fisheries Committee to undertake a three-year survey of shellfish stocks around the Cornish coast.

Shellfish such as crabs and lobsters are an important part of the Cornish fishing industry, but there is surprisingly little information concerning their stocks in Cornwall. Although there is data on shellfish landings, there is not much information about the sizes and amounts of smaller shellfish and other species that are caught then returned live to the sea.

This survey will involve monthly surveys at sea with the help of six vessels spread around the Cornish coast. Records will be kept of the size and sex of different species, the presence of berried (egg-bearing) females, whether the shellfish are damaged or diseased and additional information such as the location of fishing gear, the type of pots and baits used, and weather conditions, including the monitoring of water temperatures using probes attached to the pots.

The data will be collated into a final report in 2006 and will be used to improve the future management of shellfisheries in Cornwall's inshore waters.

Sam Davis, the Fishery Officer responsible for the survey work, said: "The response I've had from the skippers and crews involved in the survey has been fantastic, they have all been really keen to help. The data gathered so far is showing how diverse the fishery is from one area to another, a fact better known to fishermen than scientists, I suspect."

Eddy Derriman, Chief Fishery Officer at Cornwall Sea Fisheries Committee, added: "We have wanted to do a survey of this kind for many years, as we recognise the value of shellfisheries around our coast. With the help of Objective One funding, we will have a baseline of information against which we can monitor trends in the future."

Alison Elvey, Objective One Fisheries Programme Manager stated: "Work like this which helps decision makers make better informed decisions on fisheries management is brilliant. It is great seeing the fishermen getting involved as they know more than anyone what the fisheries are like."

For more information please contact:

Sam Davies, Cornwall Sea Fisheries Committee
Tel: 01736 369817

Alison Elvey, South West Pesca Ltd
Trevint House, Strangways Villas, Truro TR1 2PA
Tel: 01872 270333
Fax: 01872 242470


Editor's notes:



Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388

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