Events
SUMARiS Project Final Event
29-30 Apr 2020 | Boulogne Sur Mer, France

The SUMARiS project’s aim is to put forth a proposal of a cross-border strategy for a sustainable management of rays and skates in the Channel and North Sea area. This strategy will be based on scientific evidence, adapted to the state of stocks of different species, protect species that are less-known, while allowing fishermen to carry on their economic activity.

Funded by the INTERREG 2 Seas Mers Zeeën programme of the European Union, SUMARiS assembles 6 partner and 3 observer organisations in Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. They will work together for 3 years to increase the biological and geographical knowledge of rays and skates commonly found in the Channel and the North Sea.

The project is coordinated by one French professional fishery producer organisation FROM Nord.

The SUMARiS project is carried out in Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in partnership with producer organisations (FROM Nord, Rederscentrale), professional organisations (Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority – KEIFCA), scientific organisations (Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer – IFREMER and Instituut voor Landbouw- en Visserijonderzoek – ILVO), Nausicaá, the French National Sea Centre, and associated partners (VisNed, the AQUIMER Hub and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science – CEFAS). 

An Atlas of the distribution of skates and rays in the Channel and North Sea

One of the aims of the SUMARiS project is to assemble the existing knowledge on rays and skates in the Channel and North Sea. Therefore, in 2018, the project partners created two tools to collect biological and geographical data on skates and rays: a database and an atlas of the species distribution. The database will gather historical data about catches from 2000 to 2017 in Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, as well as data assembled by intern producer organisations and previous projects. The atlas will allow the mapping of the skates and ray fisheries in the Channel and the North Sea. By the end of the project, it will be completed and available online.

These two tools will be updated regularly thanks to fishing campaigns and studies during the SUMARiS project lifespan. They will lay foundations for a proposal of a cross-border strategy for sustainable management of ray and skate stocks in the Channel and the North Sea.

Scientific fishing campaigns

Since 2018, the partners of the SUMARiS project have been studying the survival rate of skate and ray species in the Channel and the North Sea. In Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, observers have been boarding professional fishing vessels to assess the survival rate of the skates and rays. These scientific sea trips consist of on-board vitality assessments and monitoring observations ashore. On board, the observers evaluate the vitality of the species using the Reflex Action Mortality Predictor (RAMP) method. This technique, implemented by CEFAS, has been adapted for rays and skates by ILVO. It enables to estimate the vitality of individual fish. Once ashore, the skates and rays are transported to and housed in Nausicaá and ILVO, where teams of scientists and aquarists observe and monitor their evolution. The teams study key stages in the life cycle of these species: their breeding, reproduction and egg development. The intention is to improve biological knowledge of skates and rays in the English Channel and the North Sea.

More info

https://www.nausicaa.co.uk/article/sumaris-project/

https://www.interreg2seas.eu/en/sumaris

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