A unique conference - aimed at making the most of fisheries information collected from commercial fishing vessels and fishermen themselves – will take place later this month in Galway between the 23rd and 26th August.
The conference will be hosted by the Marine Institute and is being convened by Norman Graham (Marine Institute, Ireland), Richard Grainger (Fisheries and Agriculture Organisation - FAO), William Karp (Alaskan Fisheries Center – NOAA, USA) and Kjell Nedreass (Institute of Marine Research, Norway).
It will also feature a number of well known speakers from the fishing industry including Lorcan O’Cinneide of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation, Gavin Power of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation, and Barry Deas from the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, UK.
The theme of the conference will be to find ways of harnessing the information from commercial fisheries and observations made by fishermen so as to improve scientific advice and management of marine resources, As Norman Graham observes, “every time a fisherman puts his net in the water, he’s not only catching fish, he’s taking a scientific sample as well.”
The introduction of electronic vessel monitoring systems (VMS), electronic logbooks and sophisticated echo sounding equipment on commercial fishing boats will make the information they bring ashore along with their catches of enormous value in managing fish stocks. It is this information that the organisers of the conference want to explore in terms of getting the best possible picture of stock numbers. In addition, the incorporation of fisher’s knowledge, experience and data into both the science and management of marine resources is also a key area for the conference.
(Photo: Dr. Norman Graham - Marine Institute)
“What we really need are the guys who are going out there every day and doing the job; getting them to sit there in the same room; getting them to share their experiences,” says Graham.
This aim is reflected in the agenda of the event, which targets a non-technical audience with such titles as “Converging Opposite Perceptions in Fisheries Science – the Importance of Common Language, Mutual Understanding and Collaboration Between Fishermen and Scientists”, ”Two Pathways for Electronic Monitoring: Fisher Engagement or Big Brother?” and “The Ups and Downs of Working with Industry To Collect Fishery Dependent Data; the Irish Experience.”
Details of this conference – “Making the Most of Fisheries Information” – including booking and accommodation information, are available from the website
www.fisherydependentdata.com or from the Marine Institute at 091 387200.
The latest version of the draft conference programme can be downloaded here.
The event is sponsored by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), the Marine Institute, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research with the technical co-operation of FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.