Creel fishing is an integral part of the community with Scottish inshore fisheries depending heavily on species such as the European lobster (Homarus gammarus), the Norway Lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) and crabs (the edible and velvet crabs Cancer pagurus and Necora puber, respectively). All are long lived and relatively slow growing species, making them particularly vulnerable to increasing fishing pressures and overfishing.
Fishermen, both locally and globally, report declining yields and are seeking to develop and establish new innovative approaches for best practice, based on sound research. Through our research at the marine station, we integrate ourselves into the fishing community, and in doing so, we embed trust with the local fishermen proving that the research we conduct is to help them, the marine environment, and sustainability. Through collaborative work with local fish distributors and wholesalers, we aim to further a cyclic economy by utilising waste products, such as crustacean shells, to produce materials that could then be manufactured into equipment that fishermen and wholesalers use. We hope to improve the best methods to rear the European lobster in which we promote the restocking of fished populations to further conservation and sustainability of this heavily utilised species.