SPFA and Shetland UHI agree new strategic partnership to boost pelagic fish stock science

The Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association (SPFA) and Shetland UHI have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a strategic partnership agreement that will enhance co-operation between the fishing industry and scientists

Shetland UHI was formed on 1st August 2021 from the merger of Shetland College, Train Shetland and NAFC Marine Centre, and the new agreement will build upon the strong relationship previously forged between SPFA and NAFC Marine Centre.

The MoU, which covers the next five years, outlines how the SPFA and Shetland UHI will work together to maximise the benefits on the collection and analysis of scientific data on pelagic stocks, and the development of pelagic science research. It also further underlines the commitment of the Scottish pelagic sector to embrace science and ensure a sustainable future for the industry by participating in a range of programmes, including self-sampling.

Dr Steven Mackinson, chief scientific officer for SPFA, says: “The MoU provides a way to demonstrate our commitment to building a strong working relationship between the pelagic industry and an established science institute, by clarifying why and how we intend to collaborate.”

“It is also an outward demonstration to government science and academic institutes of the commitment from the pelagic industry to professional scientific collaboration.”

Dr Chevonne Angus, Joint Head of Marine Science & Technology of Shetland UHI, adds: “Under this MoU Shetland UHI has committed to further developing our collaborative scientific work with the pelagic industry.”

“Working in partnership with industry was central to the fisheries research activities that were undertaken at NAFC Marine Centre and this ethos continues under Shetland UHI”.