European lobster European lobster catch in Bridlington, Yorkshire. Photo: Ørsted

The Holderness Fishing Industry Group (HFIG) has opened a marine research centre with a community laboratory and research hatchery in Bridlington, Yorkshire, UK, to conduct vital research on fishing grounds in the North Sea.

This laboratory boasts digital microscopy equipment, a continual supply of filtered seawater, and larval rearing equipment allowing the scientists to investigate early life stages of lobster and crab that would not be possible in the open sea. Important research will be undertaken on the habitat of native marine species.

Dr John A. Terschak, laboratory manager and facility marine scientist, said: “The Yorkshire Marine Research Centre, being a quay-side laboratory, complements the at-sea program taking place aboard our dedicated research vessel, R/V Huntress. Combining these resources will allow us to conduct robust and relevant scientific investigations into the North Sea’s ecology, biology, and the extremely important fishery.”

Ørsted funding

The centre’s build was implemented by HFIG and funded by the West of Morecambe Fisheries Fund and the European Marine Fisheries Fund.

Several of the facility’s projects have been funded by offshore wind developer Ørsted and its East Coast Projects Fund (ECPF).

Ørsted’s East Coast Projects have committed to a 10-year research sponsorship, to better understand the impacts of offshore wind on the North Sea ecology.

In 2013, Ørsted funded a long-term study led by HFIG that examined the ecological effects of the construction and operation of its offshore wind farms. The study proved to be of significant value in easing fishermen’s concerns about offshore wind developments.

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