Sustainable management of rays and skates | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Sustainable management of rays and skates

Priority Axis

Resource Efficient Economy

Specific objective

Efficient Use of Resources and Materials

Lead partner

Organisation de Producteurs à la pêche FROM Nord


Start Date


End Date


Project budget

2 042 812

ERDF amount

1 225 687

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    A large majority of the fishermen operating in the 2 sea coastal area have artisanal fishery vessels (8 to 25 m.), targeting a large composition of species. Most of them are managed with a European Total Admissible Catch (TAC). The TAC is quite recent for rays (2009 in the Eastern Channel) and it pools together several species of different conservation and exploitation status. In addition, rays don’t benefit from a long lasting knowledge and the EC tends to apply a precautionary approach to TAC-setting, which is poorly supported by fisheries and scientific evidence. SUMARiS will impact the management of rays, to make it more species-specific, economically-efficient and socially acceptable for the fishing industry while protecting the less-known species. Finally, rays will be subject to the Landing Obligation (LO) from 2019 onwards. The project will anticipate the rays’ LO, by encouraging fishermen to adapt their fishing strategies, so to avoid discards and/or release rays alive at sea.

    Main Achievements

    The SUMARiS project has created a forum for collaborative discussion by bringing together fishermen, scientists and fisheries managers from 3 different countries. The involvement of all partners in developing and delivering the different work packages has helped partners to improve their knowledge and their practices. Concerning the fisheries knowledge (WP 1), the Partners have worked on skates and rays ageing, an atlas of the spatial distribution by species, and an age-length key for thornback ray mainly, that will be used to improve ICES assessment of the stock. Besides they use the database to register the sea-trips data, within the survival tests (WP 2). 

    The sea-trips have taken place throughout 2018-2019, on different gears. 10 sea-trips on trawler in Belgium, 11 sea-trips (on a trawler and on a trammelnet vessel) in France and 8 sea-trips on a gillnet vessel in UK. 

    The Partners set-up the common code of conduct for the consortium and the guide for a correct identification and handling for fishermen (WP 3). Debates have focused on the best way they will receive adapted tools (waterproof guide with goodies, mugs). Throughout the year, the Partners kept going the training session (11 have been established). 

    The Partners continued to be very active in several focus groups (North Sea Advisory Council and North Western Waters Advisory Council) and presented the project progress at the the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) working groups (e.g. WGMEDS on Methods for Estimating Discard Survival) and annual conference in Hamburg in 2018. Within the Joint Strategy (WP 4), they organised the Management Conference that took place in Canterbury to highlight some management proposals concerning rays and skates in the 2 Seas area. 

    Communication on the activities is active (WP 6): the teaser movie, 10 short videos (including the interviews), 4 newsletters in 3 languages and 1 press release have been produced. Social media are used too (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn). Besides, promotion events are part of the project.. They have participated in parallel to different final events (e.g. H2020 DiscardLess project). Some awareness have been raised thanks to large public events (e.g. Kite Festival in Berck, Sea Festival in Boulogne s/M ""Fêtes de la Mer"") with a big audience.




    Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority - KEIFCA

    L'Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer - IFREMER

    Instituut voor Landbouw- en Visserijonderzoek - ILVO

    Nausicaa, National Sea Center


    Output name
    URL / Download


    Theme: Resource efficiencyMarine resources
    Type: Strategy/action plan
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities


    Theme: Resource efficiencyMarine resources
    Type: Pilot and demonstration action
    Target: Schools and training centres


    Theme: Resource efficiencyMarine resources
    Type: Strategy/action plan
    Target: Organisations representing SMEs


    Theme: Resource efficiencyMarine resources
    Type: Method/service
    Target: Organisations representing SMEs


    Theme: Resource efficiencyMarine resources
    Type: Method/service
    Target: Environmental agencies