Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

The Kingfisher team from Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry, has released the latest updates of FishSAFE and KIS-ORCA datasets  – a valuable navigation resource for fishermen.

These biannual data releases are produced in conjunction with the European Subsea Cables Association and FLTC Services Ltd. The FishSAFE data release contains important updates on fishing plotter files, charts and website maps of all UK oil and gas structures and the KIS-ORCA data covers renewable energy and subsea cables in Northern Europe.

Matthew Frow, Kingfisher Information Manager at Seafish said: “Due to the huge increase in offshore renewable developments in recent years, the number of structures on the KIS-ORCA data—potential fishing hazards—has increased dramatically. There are now over 3,000 wind turbines and over 88,000km of subsea cables charted on the KIS-ORCA plotter data.

“The changing face of offshore oil and gas in UK waters also means new types of hazards for fishermen to be aware of such as decommissioned platform footings and pipeline ends. This dataset is also huge, with over 28,000km of pipeline, 800 safety zones, 300 dangerous pipeline spans and many hundred surface and subsea structures.

“With all these changes it’s important that the fishing industry is able to access this data so that they are aware of the hazards to avoid.”

As well as being available to download online, the KIS-ORCA and FishSAFE data is also being supplied on a USB card to allow fishermen to easily install it on their plotters. These are being issued now by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) and National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO).

Ian Rowe, NFFO Services Manager, said: “Fishermen appreciate just how congested the marine environment has become. Having the latest KIS-ORCA and FishSAFE plotter data means that they are equipped with the best available information, allowing them to steer clear of hazardous structures and continue to fish safely.

“The USB cards that we are sending out with the data updates will make it easy for fishermen to update the information they hold.”

The data sets can be downloaded from www.kis-orca.eu/downloads and www.fishsafe.eu/downloads. Fishermen looking to receive a USB card with data should contact their relevant fishing federation.

For further information contact Matthew Frow, Kingfisher Information Manager at Seafish, on Matthew.Frow@seafish.co.uk or 01472 252336.