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Fisheries research informs global sustainability policies

Large-scale experiments conducted at sea inform research

Global fisheries are an important source of food and support US$150 billion of international trade. Most seafood is caught using trawls, though bottom trawl fishing is controversial because of the disturbance it causes to seabed habitats, including the death of animals that live on the seabed. Using large-scale experiments at sea, including modelling approaches and syntheses of globally published evidence, research at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences has directly influenced UK Government policy in relation to marine conservation. It has underpinned the seafood sustainability policy of a major UK retailer (The Cooperative Group), and has been internationally cited as evidence in the sustainability audits of 27 Marine Stewardship Council accredited fisheries. Furthermore, the research has underpinned an ecosystem based approach to the management of mussel fisheries in Wales and scallop fisheries in the Isle of Man, collectively worth £22 million.

“We turned to Professor Kaiser for advice and guidance on setting up our new policy in early 2008 and his support has been invaluable to the success of the policy. Professor Kaiser and the team supplied the essential expertise that allowed us to validate the introduction of a risk assessment framework for wild caught fish.” Andrew Young, Food Policy Development Manager, Co-operative Food.

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