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OMEGA
Development and testing of an objective mesh gauge

The project evolves from the need for an objective mesh gauge to be used for fisheries inspection, research, the industry and fishermen, as well as by netting manufacturers and net makers. Previous work has shown that the present European Union legislation for mesh measurement is not sufficiently precise and allows for variation in both the construction of the official wedge gauge and the operational procedures. Improving the methodology for mesh size measurement, as a control mechanism, will contribute to improving the implementation of technical conservation measures and thus the effectiveness of fishery management. The development of a new mesh measuring methodology will also be beneficial for fisheries research, particularly in the field of gear selectivity.

Objectives
The main objective of the proposal is to build and test a new, objective mesh gauge that is suitable for fisheries inspection, fisheries research and the fishing industry. The different tasks of the project are:
1) to build a prototype of the new instrument and to subject it to a series of acceptance tests
2) to compare the new instrument with the existing mesh gauges, both under laboratory conditions and at sea
3) to draft a protocol for using the new mesh gauge
4) to inform research institutes, fisheries inspectorates and the industry on the progress of the work and to give them the opportunity to comment and advise.

Progress to Date
A first prototype of the OMEGA mesh gauge has been built according to the conceptual design agreed upon in the preceding Accompanying Measure PREMEGADEV (Q5AM-2000-00005). Great care has been taken to meet the high mechanical, technical and ergonomic standards. A first series of tests will now be made by the Acceptance Group, a selection of specialised research institutes and fisheries inspectorates to verify that all requirements of the conceptual design are met. If not, the prototype will be modified until the testers are satisfied. However, this test programme must be finished by the end of September 2003.

Results
A prototype of the new mesh gauge has been built and is ready for testing. The instrument makers have performed a series of tests to ensure that the new gauge meets basic mechanical and technical requirements.

Classified in FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

Scientist responsible for the project

Mr RONALD FONTEYNE
ANKERSTRAAT 1
8400 OOSTENDE
Belgium - BE

Phone: +32 59 342254
Fax: +32 59 330629
E-mail: ronald.fonteyne@dvz.be

References

Project ID QLRT-2001-01335
Organisation CENTRUM VOOR LANDBOUWKUNDIG ONDERZOEK GENT - DEPARTEMENT ZEEVISSERIJ
Area 5.1.1
Start date 10 January 2002
Duration (months) 29
Total cost 759 593 €
Total EC contribution   378 328 €
Status Completed
Web address of the project   http://www.dvz.be/omega

The partners

  • BUNDESANSTALT FUER LANDWIRTSCHAFT UND ERNAEHRUNG, Germany - DE
    Uwe.Link@ble.de
  • THE SCOTTISH MINISTERS ACTING THROUGH FISHERIES RESEARCH SERVICES MARINE LABORATORY, United Kingdom (The) - GB
    R.Ferro@marlab.ac.uk
  • ALGEMENE INSPECTIEDIENSTMINISTERIE VAN LANDBOUW, NATUURBEHEER EN VISSERIJ, Netherlands (The) - NL
    h.w.ten.have@aid.agro.nl
  • INSTITUT FRANÇAIS DE RECHERCHE POUR L'EXPLOITATION DE LA MER, France - FR
    jcbraban@ifremer.fr
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