You can now estimate the weight of a sea fish by simply measuring its length.
A new web page has been launched here by the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network (SSACN) which presents interactive length / weight curves for over 45 species of sea fish.
Whilst responsible anglers have always recognised that they should do everything in their power to return any fish not wanted for the table back to the water as fast as possible, most also like to have a idea of the weight of a good fish.
Estimating weight by measuring length allows anglers to quickly return their catch and ‘weigh’ it later.
According to Lewis Cowie, SSACN’s Project Lead: ‘Although there is no doubt that fish can have different weights for the same length dependent on several factors – whether they are gravid, post spawning, sick or healthy, have good access to food-stocks etc.- weight estimation based on a fish’s length offers a credible solution. Unlike the appliances typically in use by anglers, any inaccuracies there may be will be the same for everyone.
‘If anyone has any historic accurate records of weight / length for any species, they could be very useful in helping refine our models and we would be very grateful for any input; please get in touch via the ‘Contact Us’ on the SSACN website.’
The length/weight curves are a part of SSACN’s Give Fish A Chance (GFAC) initiative which reflects the fact that anglers, whilst enjoying their sport and occasionally taking a fish for the table, are keen to do what they can to ensure the minimal impact to the environment and to the fish themselves.
GFAC also consists of a series of advisory notes and voluntary measures aimed at helping anglers to understand better the issues associated with catch and release, handling fish and doing what they can to help ensure ‘fish for the future’.