WGScallop provides the opportunity to address global and local questions and to share resources and knowledge.
The group focuses on understanding the scallop within its ecosystem, as well as the impacts of fishing. Work has included life history, examining effects of the environment, and the impacts of fishing on benthic communities. In particular, WGScallop have examined marine spatial planning and the potential benefits of marine protected areas (MPAs) and European marine sites as conservation zones and recruitment supply areas for scallop populations.
Data compilations produced by the group have included maps of scallop distribution and distribution of fishery, review of surveys, assessment case studies, and a thesis on the effects of environmental variation of recruitment
WGScallop has identified the main data sources to be used in the advisory process, compiled information on biological parameters, made a preliminary list of assessment or management units, discussed the merits and limitations of fisheries dependent and fisheries independent methods for scallop assessment, and discussed the use of MPAs and effects of scallop fishing gear on marine habitats.
Future work includes compiling landings, effort, and fishing distribution data, and deriving basic indicators of stock status. Other tasks will include evaluating how assessment methods proposed by WKLife can be applied to scallop stocks and evaluating bycatch species composition and discard mortality rates with reference to the EU landings obligation.
WGScallop members, Belfast, UK, October 2017