Orkney part of 'scallop discos' fishing trial

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ScallopsImage source, Fishtech Marine
Image caption,
Scallops caught in a modified lobster pot

Orkney is a trial area for new technology that could potentially lead to low-impact scallop fishing.

Scientists working with fishermen in a project in the south west of England discovered the molluscs were attracted to lights fitted to lobster pots.

The lights were used instead of fish as bait to catch lobsters and crabs.

But scallops were also found to be drawn to the lights and a series of new trials have started on modified pots dubbed scallop discos.

Image source, Simon Hird
Image caption,
The lights were fitted to pots to act as bait for lobsters and crabs

If successful, the technology could become an alternative to dredging the seabed for scallops in inshore fisheries.

Devon-based environmental company Fishtech Marine said the new trials in Orkney, Isle of Man and Dartmouth would hopefully show the findings of the initial project were not a one-off - and lead to new ways of fishing.

The firm's Dr Rob Enever said: "The plan is to have a pot that catches crab and lobster and enables scallop to swim in even more easily."

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