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An EMFF funded project led by the University of St Andrews (MASTS) (2017 – 2020)

The three-year project involving industry, academia and government aimed at improving fisheries management has now published its conclusions.

The project saw more than 130 vessel skippers in 43 ports around Scotland host research trips, test tracking and/or scanning devices installed, undertake surveys and significantly contribute to equipment and software development relating to inshore fisheries management. All the work undertaken and findings have been written into final Work Package reports. Work Packages are outlined below.

Dr Mark James, SIFIDS Project Leader from University of St Andrews, said:

From the outset the project was a real team effort involving project partners: Seascope Fisheries Research, Imani Development, SAMS Research Services Limited (SRSL), and the North Atlantic Fisheries College (NAFC). Our three Facilitators were instrumental in positively engaging with industry throughout the project.
So far the SIFIDS project has produced real practical outputs that can, and have, been taken forward, including the Outer Hebrides Inshore Fisheries Pilot that is currently trialling the SIFIDS low-cost tracking system to assist with fisheries management decision making. We have also, through the Seafood Innovation Fund, started to develop the prototypic scanning system (AS3ID) into an operational device.

For any inquiries about the Project please contact Hannah Ladd-Jones (SIFIDS Project Manager).


  • Read Marine Scotland’s summary blog post about the project concluding here
  • To read the project’s summary newsletter distributed to the fishers who participated in the project click here
  • To download the SIFIDS Project information brochure click here

The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) allocated £1.53 million of funding to support research into the development of an integrated system for the collection, collation, analysis and interrogation of data from the Scottish inshore fishing fleet. The project focussed on developing a decision support tool that would utilise information gathered upon inshore fishing vessels to inform fisheries management and marine planning. A key aim for SIFIDS was to create a system that would be relatively inexpensive to deploy and operate, be highly flexible, have the capacity to engage with industry and utilise industry derived data collection as far as possible, whilst providing a robust and objective evidence base for use by inshore stakeholders. The SIFIDS Project built upon previous research funded through the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and was designed to deliver a step change in the way that inshore fisheries in Scotland could be managed in cooperation with the industry. The project focused on inshore fishing vessels around Scotland, where spatio-temporal information on the distribution of vessels and associated fishing effort is data deficient.

The SIFIDS Project was conceived by the MASTS Directorate to align with the three key elements highlighted in the 2015 Scottish Inshore Fisheries Strategy, which were:

  • enhancement of the evidence base on which management decisions are taken;
  • promotion of stakeholder participation, and;
  • the incorporation of inshore fisheries activities within spatial marine planning.


The SIFIDS Project was subdivided into highly integrated “Work Packages” (WPs) which focused on the development of various aspects of the system and/or the collection of data relating to the inshore sector. The remaining two WPs encompassed the engagement of the inshore industry and overall project coordination and oversight. The majority of project WPs actively and successfully engaged with the inshore fishing industry for their research.

  • Spring 2017 Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups Newsletter with an article on the SIFIDS Project – click to view
  • Article on the SIFIDS Project – Fishing News, 5th January 2017 – click to view


SIFIDS Project Work Packages – Objectives and Final Reports

To understand more about how the SIFIDS Project came to be commissioned please watch the short animated video below

MASTS Resources

We’re working behind the scenes to bring you a suite of useful, and updateable, resources including: 

  • Find an expert
  • Find facilities & equipment
  • MASTS Publications


If you would like to be updated when the resources section is live please let us know.