SUSFISH will produce guidelines for future fisheries management, ensuring sustainable development of the shellfish industry in Ireland and Wales for the next 50-100 years.
This will be achieved by assessing the effects of climate change (via oceanographic models) on shellfish productivity in the Irish Sea and determining adaptation or mitigation strategies for the industry in the cross border TC area, including recommendations for protection of certain areas under MSP.
Aspects to be included are how current commercial shellfish productivity in the Irish Sea will respond to changes in temperature, salinity, water quality (eutrophication via organic and inorganic nutrients, acidification), sea level rise and changes in ocean current regimes.
A range of climate change scenarios will be assessed from the IPCC worst-case scenario to conditions in the present day. SUSFISH will have significant socio-economic benefit for both Wales and Ireland, and will also be of international importance, as the project addresses issues that are of global concern.
- Set up a management and advisory group, hold two workshops for the dissemination of information to key stakeholders, policy makers and SMEs
- Collate historical and recent data on environmental conditions and shellfish productivity in the Irish Sea
- Use oceanographic modelling to predict environmental conditions in the Irish Sea over the next 10-50 years. This will also incorporate hindcast data collected under objective 2
- Assess the ecological status (including larvae, physiological status, disease status and parasitological status of commercially important shellfish (Cockles, Mussels, Razor clams, native oyster, Edible crabs) with respect to environmental parameters predicted to change over the next 60 years
- Assess the population genetic structure and mixing of the common cockle Cerastodermaedule and the edible crab Cancer pagurus across Ireland and Wales coastal waters
- Assess likely increases in eutrophication and harmful algal events using the results of objective 3 and the likely economic impact on commercial aquaculture in the Irish Sea
- Undertake predictive modelling using the results of objectives 2-4 to determine future productivity of the Irish Sea under the predicted climate change scenarios. Areas of modelling will concentrate on biogeographic distribution of commercially important species and bioeconomic modelling, and risk assessments.
- Incorporate current aspects of MSP into the outputs from objectives 4 and 5 to produce guidelines for management and policy with regards to shellfish sustainability in the Irish Sea