What is the Gearing Up Project?

The GearingUp project is helping fishermen, net makers and fisheries managers find practical ways to reduce bycatch – or unwanted catches – in commercial fisheries. Launched to help identify solutions for different vessels to meet challenges of the Europe-wide ‘Landing Obligation’ (LO), the project brings together data on gear selectivity trials that have taken place in the North Sea and North Western Waters since 2002 and makes it available via an online tool. GearingUp users have access to precise results from the applications of gear innovations anywhere, anytime, so they can make an informed decision about modifications to their fishing gear.

First Focus

Our first focus is to bring together data from science and industry-led gear modification trials. This is being led by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and includes data from across northern Europe and fishing gear trials carried out in French, Scottish, Danish, Swedish, German, Dutch, Irish and English fisheries.

Second Focus

Our second focus is to engage with the fishing industry through targeted workshops and communications, sharing this data with fishermen, net makers and others, and seeking to understand the essential information that fishermen want to know about gear modification trials and the outcomes from those trials.

Third Focus

Our third focus is to design an online tool that directly reflects the industry’s preferences for navigating and understanding this data. The aim? To provide digestible information on realistic and achievable solutions for fishermen searching for guidance on how to adapt their own fishing practises to reduce unwanted catches and eliminate discards.

The end result will be a community of fishermen across Northern Europe who are able to access a coherent collection of selective gear modification trials, understand what modifications suit their own vessel, fishery and area of operation and implement changes to reduce unwanted catch and meet the requirements of the Landing Obligation.

The Tool

Click the link to explore the tool. Want to see your trial in the tool? Go to the bottom of the page and click 'Submit your study' and follow the instructions on how to enter your trial.

Visit the tool