trawlers tagged posts

Russian supertrawlers off Scottish coast spark fears for UK marine life

Scottish pelagic ships at Fraserburgh harbour

A fleet of Russian supertrawlers has been spotted fishing off the coast of Scotland in a protected area, raising concerns by environmentalists over the impact of industrial vessels on marine life in UK waters. The 11 vessels, among the largest trawlers in the world, have spent “significant time” fishing in the Wyville-Thomson Ridge, a British special area of conservation (SAC), according to data analysed by Greenpeace.

The vessels, each more than 100 metres long and capable of processing hundreds of tonnes of fish every day, are believed to be targeting blue whiting, a pelagic species that lives in midwater.

The fleet is operating legally, according to the Scottish government. The area, to the west of the Shetland Islands, is within waters shared by the UK and the Faroe Islands...

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Study identifies fish vulnerable to trawling

shoaling fish

Using laboratory-based experiments, researchers have identified the common characteristics of fish most vulnerable to being caught by trawlers.

They found fish that were less able to produce fast burst-type swimming to evade capture were more likely to end up in trawlers’ nets.

The data could help answer questions about fisheries-induced evolutionary change in fish populations, they added.

The findings appear in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal.

“What we were interested in, within a trawling scenario, was whether there was a variation among the fish in terms of how likely they were to be captured,” explained lead author Shaun Killen from the University of Glasgow.

“We looked at what role individual physiology played in determining which fish were captured and which ones were...

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