There is a long history of collaboration between scientists and fishers in Ireland. For example, skippers have been bringing scientists to sea on commercial sampling trips since 1993. Building collaborative industry-science partnerships gives dividends in both directions. Individual fishers have an important, direct role and responsibility in the collection and provision of the data needed for scientific assessments. Scientists have a responsibility to maximise the utility of those data in assessments. The assessments in-turn inform sustainable fisheries management decisions. Integrating fishers information and tacit knowledge into assessments is a key challenge for fisheries scientists but doing so will ultimately provide more robust assessments that are accepted by all.
Working in partnership with the commercial fishing sector is essential if we wish to achieve a sustainable and profitable fishing industry in Ireland. The Minister established the Irish Fisheries Science Research Partnership (IFSRP) in July 2008. This group, made up of FIF industry representatives and scientists form both the Marine Institute and BIM, meet on a regular basis. At these meetings research projects, assessment results and research priorities are actively discussed. The IFSRP has directly established several important initiatives e.g. Industry-science conferences and surveys.
Examples of current and historical collaborative research involving the Marine Institute and Irish Industry are:
- Porcupine Bank Nephrops Surveys
- Boarfish Surveys
- Cod Tagging Project
- Celtic Sea Cod Survey
- Anglerfish Survey