Register of Interest - Pollack Population size study in the western English Channel

12 March 2024

fisher boat on the water

Following the recent Defra announcement of a scientific assessment to understand more about the stock structure and abundance of Pollack, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) is today inviting commercial fishers to register their interest in joining a study using genetic tools to estimate the population size of pollack in the western English Channel (ICES subdivision 7.e.)

The study will be delivered in collaboration with commercial pollack fishing specialists (i.e. fishers who have specifically targeted pollack) with local knowledge of spawning adult and juvenile locations, to assist in the targeted sampling of fish.

We expect to commission a total of 100 days of vessel time, ideally spread over a number of vessels from a limited range of sites and evenly over time until February 2025. We aim to collect genetic material, length and weight info from around 3000 individual fish, together with the coordinates of capture. The aim is to sample 30 fish per sampling day.

Training for the taking of genetic samples will be provided by Cefas and funding to attend training will be available. Sampled fish can be sold and will be counted under “scientific quota”, which will be available only to the vessels selected to participate in the study. We anticipate a remuneration of around £500 (excl. VAT) per day.

We are looking for a minimum of 3 years’ commercial experience targeting pollack in the area of interest, and for flexibility to collect monthly samples through to February 2025. As far as is consistent with meeting the scientific objectives of the study and the vessels meeting the criteria (to be specified in application pack), Defra will prefer applications from the most affected by the pollack bycatch restrictions.

To register your interest, please email by the 26th of March, with the following 'I would like to register to receive an application pack for the pollack population study in 7e'.

Only those who register an interest will be provided with an application pack

Timeline (*indicative)

  • March 12th – Opening Date to register interest
  • March 26th – Closing date to register interest
  • March 27/28th – Application Pack issued to those registered
  • 10th April – Closing date for submitting applications
  • End of April – Vessels selected and feedback provided to all applicants
  • Mid-May (dates TBC) – Training for successful applicants
  • Late May 2024 to February 2025 - Sampling Programme duration