Government funding backs scallop fishing industry breakthrough

Government funding backs scallop fishing industry breakthrough.

A world-first method for catching scallops that offers an alternative to damaging dredging activity has been developed using funding from the Government’s Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF).

This new low-impact method, pioneered by scientists at Devon-based company Fishtek Marine, uses illuminated pots dubbed ‘scallop discos’ to attract and catch scallops.

Due to having 200 eyes, scallops were found to be particularly receptive to the lights and naturally moved towards them, making the lights an effective means to catch large quantities without trawling the seabed. Findings indicate this could replace traditional dredging methods which can have a damaging effect on valuable marine habitats.

The Seafood Innovation Fund, a multi-million programme funded by Defra and delivered by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), is supporting innovative projects across the fishing, aquaculture and seafood industries that use cutting edge technology or new techniques to limit the impact of fisheries on the marine environment.

The Seafood Innovation Fund sits under the £100 million UK Seafood Fund, set up by the Government to support the long-term future and sustainability of the UK fisheries and seafood sector. It will ensure industry is able to process more fish landed in the UK, create more job opportunities across the supply chain and upskill the workforce and train new entrants, to level up coastal communities across the UK.

Find out more about the Seafood Innovation Fund here