Zero Plastics
Fisheries Project

The Research

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The Research Plan

In 2021, Jof approached the Isles of Scilly Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority to help with a research project that could test this fishing technique.

With funding from Defra’s Fishery Industry Science Partnership programme a two-year project was launched in May 2023 between Jof and the University of Plymouth.

mixed camera supplies

Using cameras mounted in and over the pots, researchers will examine how the pots interact with the environment and how different species enter and leave. Data will be collected on the lobsters that are caught, providing an insight into whether natural pots are more or less effective than the plastic and metal ones that are generally used.

The second part of the study will examine public and potential consumer perception of lobster that is caught using zero plastic fishing gear – are they willing to pay a bit more for this product?

camera on pot

Research Update

This first season has been a difficult one, with more storms and high winds in living memory. This has reduced the number of days that fishing can take place, and made camping a challenge for our two researchers.

Thalia and Adam have been working closely with Jof to set up a reliable process for downloading and analysing data. At the end of each day, they meet him and retrieve the 10 cameras that have been attached to the pots. The data is downloaded onto a computer and then one of them will watch the footage and note down when there is activity in the pot. This data will help to understand how withy pots interact with the environment. This work takes place in a small side office in the Island Hall in St Agnes.

recording equipment on table

The Go Pro cameras are then charged and prepared for the next trip, programmed with a 26 hour timelapse that is a compromise between battery life and gathering data on how the pots behave under the water.

We are coming to the end of the season now. Over the next few months, the data will be looked at in more detail. Jof will be repairing and replacing his pots over the winter and getting ready for next year.


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