18 months in, and collaboration between scientists and industry is forging ahead.
At sea, purse seiners landing in Victoria (Seychelles) are now regularly collecting biological samples of by-catch species for scientific study. So far, we have biological samples for 290 silky sharks, 280 rainbow runners and 350 triggerfish.
Moreover, fishermen are continuing to share echo sounder buoy information so that scientists can better understand FADs’ by-catch species.
Meanwhile on land, semi-structured interviews are being conducted with both French and Spanish skippers to explore and gather their ecological knowledge. Such knowledge helps provide information on historical trends, such as size and abundance, of tuna and by-catch species and also on the development of the FAD fishery in the Indian Ocean. A questionnaire is used to structure the interview, which has been designed to be easy to understand for non-scientists. However, fishermen are also left free to speak their mind and ask or answer “unplanned” questions.
So far, in total we have held 12 interviews with skippers (10 with French skippers, 2 with Spanish), and six meetings with stakeholder partners across the two countries.