eco fishingCefas will be asking fisherman in the UK about environmentally friendly fishing gear. Photo: INdIGO

Professional fishermen are being asked to give their opinion on the development of more environmentally friendly fishing gear.

A new survey has been launched to ask questions including, would fishermen be prepared to use biodegradable fishing gear in the marine environment? And if so, under what conditions? The survey aims to reach around 300 professional fishermen on both sides of the Channel.

The survey is part of the European-funded INdIGO research project, led by the University of Southern Brittany (UBS), with both French and English partners. Launched in late 2019, the project aims to develop prototype biodegradable fishing gear for use in the marine environment, and to improve the recycling of existing gear at the end of its life.

Two parts

The survey is split into two parts. Section 1 – The Technical Questionnaire will enable the project to build an inventory of the types of plastics currently being used in the fishing and aquaculture sectors. This will allow the project to learn more about abandoned, lost and otherwise discarded fishing gear, to assess what happens to it and to improve the recycling of end of life gear.

To gather this information in the UK, project partner Cefas will use its teams of fisheries observers to conduct telephone interviews with fishermen. Interested participants can email indigo.project@cefas.co.uk

Section 2 – The Behaviour Questionnaire will be used to identify what may or may not encourage fishermen to adopt biodegradable fishing gear for marine use. The results gathered in this section of the survey will allow the project partners to improve and optimise the prototype fishing gear at each stage of manufacture. The fishermen will then be invited to test the new prototype fishing gear during their daily activities and give essential feedback.

Fishermen are asked to complete this section of the survey online at http://indigo-interregproject.eu/en/fishermen-survey/

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