By-catch provisions in closed areas
Since 2015 the landing obligation is being implemented on a gradual basis. Each fishery has its own specificities and differences which makes precise guidance difficult; a pelagic fishery in the Atlantic is not the same as a pelagic fishery in the Mediterranean Sea, for example. Vessel dimension, type of gear, sea basin, etc. are all factors to pay attention to while implementing the landing obligation.
Over the last few years, governments, scientific institutions, industry, fishermen and other stakeholders have worked to develop trials and solutions. Some examples of projects co-funded by the EU through pilot projects or specific programmes and funds such as the EFF, Life+, etc. are: The English Discard Ban Trial, DisCatch, EcoFishMan.
EU countries have also supported a number of different projects such as Celselect: Celtique sélectivité by France Filière Pêche or industry-led initiatives such as Groundbreaking fishing gear selectivity trials lead by Seafish.
Other examples of projects, trials or research on the landing obligation:
DiscardLess is a collaborative project by a consortium of 31 partners from 12 countries working in 9 different areas. With an holistic approach it aims to provide better data collection, in both fishery and ecosystem; discard mitigation strategies and innovative gear technologies; on-board and ashore solutions for landed species; and communication of the results to users.
MINOUW is a consortium that involves over 15 different maritime science institutes and bodies from across Europe, and brings together scientists, fishers, NGOs and policy makers. The overall objective is to facilitate the gradual elimination of discards in European marine fisheries, by helping decrease unwanted catches through technologies and practices that reduce bycatch while avoiding damage to sensitive marine species and habitats. The participants work together in a multi-actor context to identify and analyze existing and potential discard-mitigating technologies, which are tested in field trials to assess their impact. MINOUW have achieved good results in developing fishing gears increasing selectivity and minimizing the undersized catches of species subject to minimum size in the Mediterranean. The ongoing experiments run on the use of selection grids on demersal nets (Italy) and on the improvement of gear selectivity of the bottom trawl gear (Malta); preliminary results show a remarkable increase in selectivity and a sensible reduction of unwanted catches.
The main objective of LIFE iSEAS is to demonstrate that a sustainable scenario (in terms of biological and socio-economic indicators) of the EU fisheries is possible through the enhancement of the real application on the fishing sector of existent knowledge and innovative solutions for discards reduction and management.
One of the objectives of this project is the identification of the cases where the minimis exemption could apply on the basis of the two conditions included in the Article 15 (i.e. improvements in selectivity are considered to be very "difficult" or "to avoid disproportionate costs of handling unwanted catches"). The project focuses on fisheries targeting sardine, anchovy, mackerel and horse mackerel in the Mediterranean.
The project successfully identified methods suitable for reusing by-catch waste matter within Atlantic fishing fleets. This included developing new Best Practices matter within Atlantic fishing fleets. This included developing new Best Practices and management solutions for separation, classification, handling, conservation and pre-treatment of by-product.
The objectives of the project was to develop and implement a bycatch management network, comprising all actors present in the fishing sector (fleets, ports, auctions, industries, etc.) that would aim at minimisation of discards/bycatch as well as optimal valorisation of unwanted or unavoidable catches.
Under-utilised, high-quality raw materials from capture fishery and aquaculture production (e.g. homogenised fish flesh from fillet production) is used for a novel fermentation process with higher cost-efficiency and a more simple implementation than previous mere extraction/purification methods.
Biotecmar aims at looking for biotechnological solutions which develop direct marine by-products exploitation towards higher added value products instead of just merely waste. The Biotecmar project supports the development of a chain for the production of valuable ingredients using underexploited marine products. It establishes an Atlantic network with connections between scientists, marine resources providers, manufacturers and users.
That is database of fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing projects. It was created to directly address actions envisaged within that matter as part of the Europe 2020 strategy which recognises bioeconomy as an important part of the strategy.
The Discard Action Group is a forum for the discussion of industry-wide problems relating to discards. It is an example on an integrated, interdisciplinary, co-operative approach to the issue, and is the only UK cross-industry group addressing the discards issue from all perspectives. It involves everyone NGOs, policy-makers, fishery managers, fishers, science and supply chains –supermarkets and processors.
The aim of GeNeSys is to better valorise unused biomass by developing innovative valorisation routes. It includes agricultural and fisheries resources. GeNeSys is searching the reduction of waste and better closure of resource use. This biomass has the potential to be used in application with higher value.
The aim of the project was to improve selectivity as well as the choice of fishing gear to reduce discards. PseRedes looked into distribution of discards in space and time and defined species and sizes that need to be avoided. Modified fishing gear was designed on the basis of the findings. Fuel consumption was also taken into account.
If a juvenile fish lives long enough after being discarded to spawn new fish it should be given that opportunity. Some say that all discarded fish are either dead before they hit the water or they die soon after victims of predation or injury. This project is testing the most commercially important species of flatfish –plaice, sole and dab- for their likelihood of survival.
Lobsters females with eggs when fished are notched by fishermen and thrown out back to the sea; once notched they are protected from fishing by legislation. This project was worked out in a co-operative approach with the fishermen and resulted in higher spawning and increases in recruitment and catch rates.
The project aimed at developing the knowledge of discarding. Specific objectives included the provision of discard estimates for selected European fisheries, and of appropriate indicators; the determination of the most important factors affecting discard amounts and composition; and the elaboration of integrated management approaches to the discard issue.
Fish under MCRS and fish residues can have high potential for valorisation. They can be a source of calcium phosphates, collagen and morphogenetic proteins. Once extracted and purified, these biopolymers and ceramics can be used in different biomedical areas, such as biomaterials for human tissue regeneration.
This is a collaborative project made up of 25 partners from 12 countries. It aims to perform a comprehensive analysis of the current and emerging management measures of the CFP, achieve more profitable and efficient fishing sector which provides sustainable employment and contributes to societal wellbeing.
It is a voluntary pilot Cod Catch Quota Scheme (CCQS) where participating vessels must retain on board and land all cod that is catch, regardless of size and marketability. It was hold in a small scale but covered different types of vessels and activities.
This is an overview of the commonalities and differences, both in terms of the topics covered and the findings and conclusions, of the three areas studied. The document analyses the background information on the concept of MSY; implementation error and how behavioural sciences may be of help to reduce this; or modelling studies and results. Recreational fisheries are also mentioned.
REDRESSE is a project of the association Aglia in France. The main objective is to reduce discards with improvements in the selectivity and strategy of fishing gear in the Bay of Biscay true to the motto "sorting on the bottom rather than on deck". To do so, the project builds up a close collaboration between stakeholders like scientists, fisher and manufactures. Through the use of two different trawling nets, the scientists are able to make direct comparison of the nets selectivity in their study.
The project SURTINE is carried out by Aglia and has the objective to improve the knowledge about survivability of lobsters in the Bay of Biscay. Since 2016, lobster trawlers have to comply with the landing obligation. Studies on the survivability shall evaluate the liveliness of lobster and the improvement of the on-board equipment shall speed up sorting processes.
The aim of DISCATCH is to support the identification of viable solutions to address factors determining the catches of unwanted species and specimens in trawl fisheries with a view to reducing unwanted catches and eliminating discards. DISCATCH covers seven non-adjacent Mediterranean sub-regions, as identified by the FAO Statistical Divisions, within the Western, Central and Eastern Mediterranean Basin, where relevant demersal and pelagic trawl fisheries occur.
The Biotecmar project supports the development of a chain for the production of valuable ingredients using underexploited marine products. Common strategies have to be developed in order to direct marine by-products exploitation towards higher added value products instead of just merely waste.. On the Atlantic area, the actors are dispersed, while other regions in the world (Canada, Asia, Norway) are more co-ordinated in their approach.
PRESPO (Sustainable Development of the Artisanal fisheries in the Atlantic Area) is integrated in “Protect, secure and enhance the marine and coastal environment sustainability”, taking into account that the aim is to guarantee the long-term sustainability of the fishing activity, considering environmental, economic and social aspects. Moreover, because marine areas are used daily by numerous fishing boats, the project also coincide with the “Improve maritime safety”, since it will be obtained information on the fishing activity, essential to promote the integrated management of the marine areas.
The findings from several European Research Projects suggest that as discarding is in most cases an unavoidable consequence of a series of constraints on the fishing activities and production, managing discards implies taking account of the whole fishery management system. The present project aims to (i) understand the reasons for discarding in the Atlantic Iberian Waters and the Bay of Biscay (ICES Divisions VIIIa,b,c,d and IXa) and (ii) identify measures to eliminate discards. REDDISC is a joint project between the scientific community and the fishing sector to improve a discard reduction in the Bay of Biscay and Iberian waters.
Projects can also be found via the following links:
Project financed by the European Union
Studies by the European Parliament
Projects financed by the European Commission
Landing Obligation Seminar November 2017 - summary
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As the terrestrial world is kept hostile by the Coronavirus outbreak, life under water is all business as usual. But how well is our marine life faring? According to the United Nations IPBES report, nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history. Almost 33% of reef-forming corals and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened.
In response to the severe economic impact of the coronavirus crisis on the fishing and aquaculture sectors, DG MARE has published an information note to give guidance to EU Member States outlining existing tools and instruments to support their local communities. These two sectors have been hit particularly hard by significant market disruptions, including from mandatory restaurant closures.
As the Coronavirus pandemic threatens the health of our citizens, many parts of the EU economy are also experiencing major disruptions. Fishing and aquaculture have been among the hardest hit sectors. The European Commission has therefore decided to adopt a temporary State aid framework to enable Member States to provide relief to economic operators hit by the crisis. The new Temporary Framework allows aid up to a level of €120,000 per undertaking active in the fishery and aquaculture sectors.