Fishermen and scientists recently came together for an Innovations in Fishing Operations workshop hosted by GMRI in Beverly, MA. The two-day workshop focused on opportunities to reduce fuel consumption, improve catch selectivity, and collaborate throughout the supply chain. Participants included day boat operators from Massachusetts and New Hampshire as well as scientists from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Northeast Consortium, and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council. Other contributors included North Atlantic Seafood, the University of New Hampshire, and Rhode Island Sea Grant.
The major discussion themes were gear selectivity innovations, energy audits, and marketing. Fishermen identified critical needs that would enable them to be successful under groundfish sector management, such as access to funding sources for vessel and gear investments, stability in stock assessments, addressing the cost of at-sea and dockside monitoring, and business planning support. Conversations around marketing underscored that price stabilization may allow fishermen to develop business plans and lease quota with more confidence.
One participant commented: "I was a little bit apprehensive about coming to a workshop like this, but really glad I did. It gave me new hope and some really useful ideas to help me with my fishing business."
Note: This story was adapted from GMRI's new Waypoints publication, a quarterly summary of fisheries news from across New England. Waypoints highlights the efforts of fishermen and scientists working together in new and innovative ways. Each issue features research updates, project reports, survey results, upcoming trainings and workshops, partnership opportunities, and more.