Waterdance vessels, such as the Barentzsee and Govenek of Ladram are involved in research collaboration with the UK government fisheries science agency, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS). We see each of our vessels as a platform for scientific discovery, believing that improved understanding of fish and the marine environment is crucial to good management and consumer confidence in the sustainability of seafood. Important projects that we have hosted are the Spurdog by-catch avoidance programme and Project 50%. Project 50% resulted in long term changes to larger nets for trawling that reduced the catching of juvenile fish dramatically.
Waterdance took a delegation of Thai fishermen, government scientists and officials to sea on a beam trawler from Brixham to see the highly selective fishing nets used by our fleet. Waterdance also informed discussions at this event to promote a change to more selective and sustainable fishing in Thailand. The sum-wing fishing gear trail on our beam trawler Margaret of Ladram, demonstrated fuel savings, lower unwanted catches and reduced seabed contact. The majority of Waterdance vessels are in membership of a fish producer organisation, who have the collective pursuit of sustainability of members’ fishing as a core objective.
We don’t only land fish when our vessels come into port, but also rubbish! Each of our trawlers collects marine litter from a range of sources caught when trawling and disposes of this on land as part of the ‘Fishing for Litter’ Scheme. Things we have collected include car tyres and a lot of plastic bags.