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International News

WELSH FISHERMEN GET GOVERNMENT GRANT SUPPORT

The grants, during the Covid-19 Pandemic, are for vessel-owning fishing businesses to cover fixed costs associated with owning a vessel. They will be based on size with a maximum payment of stg£10,000. Vessels up to 10 metres will get one-off grants of £2,966; from 10.01m to 11.99m £8,700 and from 12 to 40 metres £10,000. The grant will be open to all active seafood businesses with Welsh-licensed vessels and recorded sales of stg£10,000 or more in 2019.

AQUACULTURE HIT HARD IN INDIA

Aquaculture in India has been particularly hit by the Covid-19 impact, particularly because many of the sector switched over to shrimp cultivation in recent years. This was to achieve higher returns. Much of this move was in the Bay of Bengal area.

SEAWEED REDUCING COW METHANE EMISSIONS!

Australia’s national science research agency, CSIRO, has concluded a study which, it says, shows that including red seaweed species (in particular of the Asparagopsis type) can significantly reduce methane emissions in cattle. The cattle are blamed for causing large amounts of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in the form of methane.

NEW TYPE OF ANTI-LICE SALMON NET

A new type of net which is claimed to reduce sea lice levels by up to 80 percent in salmon farms is to be used by Mowi in Norway. It has been developed by Egersund Net. Mowi is also to test one in Scotland. They are described as ‘Tubenets’ able to contain the bulk of the salmon at depths where there are few sea lice, while simultaneously allowing those fish that need to head to the surface to fill their swim bladder with air, via a tube that is protected by a tarpaulin. They have been in use on other farms in Norway, but Mowi’s order of the nets is the first major commercial breakthrough for Egersund Net which is a subsidiary of the international Akva group.

It describes itself as offering “pen farming and land based aquaculture operations technical solutions and service.”

CONSULTATION LAUNCHED ON PROPOSED REGULATIONS FOR WILD WRASSE FISHERY

A consultation has been launched on proposals to introduce mandatory controls on the harvesting of wild wrasse in Scottish waters.

The purpose of this consultation is to seek views about whether the Scottish Government should introduce mandatory measures to control the harvesting of live wrasse for the salmon farming industry.

Voluntary measures were introduced in 2018 by the Scottish government, working with the SSPO (Scottish salmon Producers Organisation). Marine Scotland has undertaken an internal review, and engaging with the SSPO and salmon farm operators, they concluded that while most of the original voluntary measures are operating satisfactorily, there is scope to improve the reporting of wrasse fishing activity and merit in introducing more formal harvesting measures - which would bring the wrasse fishery more into line with other Scottish fisheries.

Marine Scotland therefore propose introducing mandatory controls covering the reporting and practice of wild wrasse harvesting. Under the new arrangements, they will issue to eligible wrasse fishermen a new permit which will set conditions for participating in the fishery.

Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said, “Salmon farms across Scotland are dependent on the use of wrasse as a natural solution for salmon lice prevention but it’s equally important that the species itself is protected from the potential of overfishing. This is why we are proposing to introduce reporting and management procedures to ensure they are being fished sustainably.

In May 2018, working with the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, we introduced voluntary control measures over wrasse harvesting and I’m confident these protocols are effective. If adopted, the new measures would make those controls mandatory and introduce new requirements on the reporting of fishing activity, which will ensure effective management of the fishery in the long term.

“I would encourage any interested parties to get in touch with their feedback on the consultation.”