As the MINOUW project comes to an end, we’re delighted they have decided to add their excellent selection of selectivity trials to the Gearing Up tool. Since its implementation in late 2017, our interactive online tool has been supporting the fishing industry’s adaptation to the Landing Obligation.
What is Gearing Up?
Gearing Up is an online, multi-language tool helping fishermen find effective and sustainable solutions to the challenges of the Landing Obligation. It is the only platform that allows fishermen to access over 300 (and growing) selective gear trials in less than three clicks, giving them the rare opportunity to see how different selective gears perform on the water before making large financial commitments on gear modifications.
Behind Gearing Up is an adaptive, creative and multi-disciplinary team. Scientists, communicators, fishermen and web designers working together to constantly evolve and add to this powerful tool.
New trials are added regularly and our online form allows institutions from across the world the freedom to upload their own trials to the tool. MINOUW will be using this form to add their trials which include the T90 mesh panel, sorting grids and a new design of a bivalve dredge. These trials will also be the first from the Mediterranean region, which helps us towards our goal of expanding the tool’s geographic range.
How has GU been successful?
In the two short years it has been running, Gearing Up is already being seen by the industry as an important platform to drive change, the key to helping facilitate crucial knowledge-transfer between fishing nations and fleets on selective fishing gear. It has also had European recognition when Commissioner Vella said that eliminating discards is difficult, but not impossible and a project like Gearing Up can ‘uncover further potential’. The European Commission said the tool was the ‘best thing they’ve seen in fisheries for a long time.’
Accepting the baton
Now that the Landing Obligation has been fully implemented it is vital projects like MINOUW and DiscardLess aren’t left to sit on the shelf and stagnate. We know there’s a lot to learn from trials that already exist, we just need to make the best use of this information, which is where Gearing Up can play an important role.
We’re urging people to follow in MINOUW’s footsteps and use our online tool to add their own selective trials to the Gearing Up platform, this will not only help extend the life of your work but it could also help fishermen from other countries find effective solutions to reducing discards in their fishery: a vital step to ensuring sustainable fishing and a prosperous fishing industry.
Article by Harriet Yates-Smith from Gearing Up