Submission from the Fisheries Research
1. Fisheries Research Services (FRS) is
the Scottish centre for research on fisheries aquaculture and
the aquatic environment. It is an Agency of the Scottish Executive
Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) and supports
policy and stewardship of living aquatic resources. More details
on the aims and objectives of FRS can be found on our website
(www.frs-scotland.gov.uk) where we have recently published our
Report and Accounts 2005-06.
2. Although FRS has a very clear focus on
the research and monitoring requirements of the Scottish Executive,
and to that extent inshore waters up to 12 miles, FRS contributes
scientific expertise to the research and monitoring which underlies
the advice produced on the wider marine environment and marine
issues. In part this is achieved through close collaboration with
the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Natural
Heritage (SNH) and Scottish marine institutes such as the Scottish
Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban. In addition, we
have forged partnership agreements with several Scottish Universities
and are active in developments around a "virtual" Scottish
marine science group. However, FRS also contributes actively to,
often Defra led, UK-wide commitments and to UK-wide research and
monitoring collaborating closely with the Centre for Environment,
Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and other UK-wide institutes.
FRS is fully engaged with the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment
Strategy and contributes to UK input to the International Council
for the Exploration of the Seas, providing both delegates and
Chairs for the various working groups and committees. FRS further
provides scientific expertise as part of the UK representation
to the Oslo and Paris Commission (OSPAR).
3. FRS operates two research vessels, the
ocean going FRV Scotia and the smaller FRV Clupea.
Both ships are used extensively as part of the marine fish stock
monitoring which, together with our market sampling and fish discards
programme, contributes to the annual fish stock assessments.
4. FRS undertakes research in a range of
areas including the effects of climate change, indicators of change
in the health of fish communities, understanding the spread of
sea lice, design of fishing gears, the biological response of
fish to contaminants and the development of disease, the hydrography
of the waters around the UK, the use of molecular probes to identify
phytoplankton, the modelling of fish stocks and much more. Some
examples of the research undertaken at FRS are presented FRS information
leaflets electronic links for which are at Annex 1 to this letter*.
Although much of this research is funded by SEERAD, some of these
programmes are funded by organisations such as the Natural Environmental
Research Council; an example is the recently completed programme
on marine productivity which had a focus in the Irminger Sea.
A current NERC programme running at FRS is the multi-centre research
on fish toxicogenomics which is lead from the University of Birmingham.
Services to customers other than SEERAD account for approximately
14% of FRS' total budget. In addition to NERC other customers
include the European Union (EU), the Food Standards Agency (FSA),
other Government Departments, and public and private sector organisations.
5. A large proportion of the research and
monitoring undertaken by FRS scientists is published in the peer-reviewed
literature. However, FRS also produces a series known as "FRS
Reports" which can be accessed via our internet site. Finally,
FRS contributes to international publications. An example of this
is the ICES Cooperative Research Report on Ocean Climate, the
Scottish data coming from the FRS produced Scottish Ocean Climate
6. FRS contributes significantly to our
wider understanding of the seas around the UK and the animals
that live within these waters. If the Committee would like further
information on the activities of FRS then I will be happy to provide
1 Link to Report and Accounts 2005-2006 http://www.frs-scotland.gov.uk/FRS.Web/Uploads/Documents/report%2006all.pdf Back
* (Not printed) Back