New RASS profiles highlight important Northern Irish Fisheries

07 November 2017

Seafish, the UK industry authority on seafood, has widened the scope of its Risk Assessment for Sourcing Seafood (RASS) tool by adding a series of bespoke Northern Ireland fishery profiles to the database. 

RASS is an online platform that provides UK seafood buyers and processors with information on fish stocks which are landed or imported into the UK. The profiles provide a framework to allow assessment of biological status and environmental impacts of fisheries, enabling buyers to make informed decisions and develop responsible sourcing strategies.

At a Responsible Sourcing workshop in Northern Ireland, arranged by Seafish, the local seafood industry identified a series of Irish Sea fisheries for which they felt stand-alone profiles would be justified and useful. 

Working with the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) with funding and support through Seafish, this project has reviewed and enhanced RASS profiles relevant to Northern Irish fishing industry using AFBI data on bycatch, discards and seabed gear impacts. 

RASS

Dr Lynn Gilmore, Seafish Northern Ireland Manager welcomed the launch of the new RASS profiles for Northern Ireland fisheries. She said "Local industry identified a series of stocks for which they wished to see Northern Ireland-specific profiles."

"Working with Fisheries Scientists in the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute and using the best available evidence, new profiles have been created and existing profiles updated for a range of important stocks from demersal Nephrops, haddock, hake and cod, to mid-water haddock and hake stocks. New profiles for important inshore fisheries in Northern Ireland such as crab, lobster and scallops have also been created."

Dr Alex Caveen, Seafish RASS Manager commented "It is fantastic to see more regional RASS profiles being added to our database. This increased resolution in the information we can provide to seafood buyers through RASS is creating increased confidence from buyers in the choices of seafood they are purchasing and is enhancing transparency throughout the supply chain." 

Check out RASS at www. seafish.org/rass/ and find the new profiles by searching 'Northern Ireland' on the RASS home page or for more information contact Dr Alex Caveen by email: alex.caveen@seafish.co.uk