To catch or conserve more fish: the evolution of fishing technology in fisheries science
reportposted on 2022-03-01, 08:56 authored by S. J. Walsh, A. Engås, R. Ferro, R. Fonteyne, B. van Marlen
From the beginning of the 20th century, ICES has been concerned about fishing technology, especially the use of trawls and the proportion of undersized fish in the catch. Investigations of otter trawling and catching efficiency began in the early 1900s and continued throughout the decades under the umbrella of various ICES committees and subcommittees until 1955, when these investigations gained full committee status under the newly formed Comparative Fishing Committee. During the 1950s and 1960s, technological advances in underwater photography, acoustics, and trawlmounted instrumentation provided the first means to study fishing gear and fish behaviour in scientific detail. The consequent increase in research led, in 1967, to the establishment of the ICES Gear and Behaviour Committee and eventually, in 1983, to the creation of the Working Group on Fishing Technology and Fish Behaviour (WGFTFB). The evolution of fishing technology research throughout the history of ICES closely parallels that of the fishing industry, and it has played an important role in contributing to the development and implementation of theoretical and applied fisheries science. We examine the application of fishing technology in fisheries science in an historical account of its development and the origins of the WGFTFB within ICES.