As part of PEVASA’s sustainability policy and with the aim of studying the effects of the improvements defined within the Code of Good Fishery Practices on susceptible species such as Rays and Sharks, and bearing in mind the need to understand the impact on the ecosystem, PEVASA and the AZTI Marine Research Center will be working together in 2020 on a project to develop tools for the liberation of susceptible species.
The initiative will apply the experience obtained during the HELEA project, conducted by AZTI, and will take place on board our tuna seiners operating in the Atlantic.
This project will continue the work of a pilot scheme already performed on board one of our Atlantic vessels. At the end of 2019 a devil Ray (Mobula tarapacana) was fitted with a sPAT-355 tracker before being released. The preset tracker sent out satellite positional signals for checking the health of the animal over the subsequent days.
After an analysis of the postional signals received, the experts concluded that the results were satisfactory. Once released, the devil Manta proceeded to make normal vertical movements and continued with the habitual migratory pattern of its species.
Although it is estimated that the survival rate among released animals is high, based on the pilot study, the objective is to ensure the complete survival of the susceptible species. For this reason PEVASA is fully committed to achieving a fuller understanding of the results of the liberations conducted on board.
The project, together with the correct use of the tools, will be supervised by an on-board scientific observer and we aim to produce results which will then enable us to implement even more effective release measures for the susceptible species, as well as providing a better understanding of the impact on those species which are not the object of our fishing activity.
Bermeo, May 2020