Cefas Shellfish Team

Cefas Shellfish Team

Department for Environment Food & Rural Affiars |

This nomination is in recognition of the pioneering work undertaken by the Cefas Shellfish Assessment Team on the assessment of scallop stocks. This process resulted in the publication of stock assessments in an astonishingly short period of time compared to most fishery assessments.

Until recently scallop fisheries received relatively little policy attention compared to some other shellfish species. An increase in the landings of king scallops now puts them as the most commercially valuable single species for England but has led to concern regarding the sustainability of the fisheries. The scientific evidence base required to inform management decisions was lacking and a rapid solution needed to be developed. Over the last 2 years the Cefas shellfish team has developed and implemented a novel data collection and assessment framework. The speed and breadth of work has only been achieved through close collaboration with the industry and included the industry directly funding some of the work. This partnership approach to stock assessment represents a new direction in UK fisheries work. The program is the start of a long-term monitoring scheme which will help Defra develop robust policies for management and ensure the future sustainability of these fisheries.