Local fishermen have been taking part in a ray tagging scheme in North Devon to prove the fishery is healthy despite crippling quotas. North Devon Fishermens Association has been working closely with scientists and fisheries officers to gather information on rays in local waters. Trawlerman Steve Taylor has been helping officers from Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (D&S IFCA) to tag blonde and thornback rays in Bideford Bay to collect information on where they go at different times of year to feed and mate. It follows the devastating ray ban in 2014 and a 2015 event held by the North Devon Ray Pilot Project, where fishermen raised their concerns about the lack of quota available to them when they say there are seemingly abundant local stocks. The aim is to gather more data to prove the fishery is healthy. To keep it sustainable, the NDFA already uses its own voluntary minimum size restriction and has designated a ray box in the sea, which isnt targeted during the breeding season. The North Devon Ray Pilot Project is funded by D&S IFCA, Northern Devon FLAG, the European Fisheries Fund, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and North Devon Biosphere Reserve. Plans for a Bristol Channel Ray Management Forum will be developed next year, with the fishing industry, English and Welsh fisheries regulators, scientists and conservation groups working to create a Fisheries Improvement Plan to ensure the sustainability of Bristol Channel rays.