Sustainable Fish Week: Lecture evening: Research on sustainable fisheries in Belgium | Marine@Ugent

Sustainable Fish Week: Lecture evening: Research on sustainable fisheries in Belgium

On November 21th, Marine @UGent organizes a lecture evening with scientists from Ghent University and the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO). This is one of the actions during the ‘Sustainable fish week’.


When? 21 November 2013, 20h

Where? Campus Sterre, S8, Valère Billiet


Jan Reubens will focus on the behavioural ecology of Atlantic cod and pouting at offshore wind farms, and he will discuss whether small-scale fisheries should be allowed inside wind farms or not.

Jan is a researcher at the Marine Biology Research Group of Ghent University. For his PhD study he investigated the effect of offshore wind farms on the ecology of fish. He combined scientific diving activities with acoustic telemetry and hand line fisheries.


Bart Verschueren clarifies if technical adaptations can reduce the environmental impact of the beam trawl fishery. Research focusses on the reduction of the seabed contact, the discarding of unwanted organisms and the fuel consumption. The ILVO Fishing Gear Technology research group performs experiments and applies these techniques on board of fishing vessels. As such, they strengthen the cooperation with the fishing industry to make the sector more sustainable. This team is both developing new fishing gear (pulse fishery) and enhances the selectivity of existing techniques through the use of escape and separator panels.


Maarten Soetaert elaborates on pulse trawls, a promising alternative fishing technique, that replaces the traditional mechanical stimulation with tickler chains and bobbin ropes by electrical stimulation with electrodes. The electric field makes the fish or shrimp go into a cramp or jump out of the sediment. Using this technique reduces bottom contact and decreases bycatches. Also the fuel costs can drop up to 50%. But what are the negative effects of marine electrofishing? This research assesses the impact of varying pulse parameters on a broad range of species encountered in trawl catches: cod, sole, shrimp and sandworm.


Emely Hanseeuw informs us about the ‘discard ban’. When the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is issued, a gradual ban on discarding will be implemented. What does this mean and why did policymakers choose this? How will this affect fishermen? The ILVO GeNeSys project is investigating options to valorize unused fish and fish waste. Will this minimize the loss of fish biomass when it is landed?