Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Towards a gradual elimination of discards in European fisheries

Topic identifier: SFS-09-2014
Publication date: 11 December 2013

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
11 December 2013
2nd stage Deadline:
12 March 2014 17:00:00
26 June 2014 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020
Topic Description

Specific challenge:The new orientation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) calls for a move towards a gradual elimination of discards on a case-by-case basis, and taking into account the best available scientific advice to reduce unwanted catches and gradually ensure that all catches are landed. To do so, and to obtain better economic results while keeping consistency with the objectives of the CFP, particularly about compatibility with Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), there is a need to underpin innovations and changes in the tools and technologies used at all stages of the seafood supply chain, from catching to consumers.

Scope:Proposals should deal with the several keys aspects underpinning the new policy: i) how to avoid unwanted catches both through improvements to selectivity but also through adaptations of fishing strategies and fishermen behaviour, ii) how to address practical issues of handling unwanted catches on board vessels that must be now landed, while ensuring that such catches can be fully documented, iii) how to make best use of unwanted catches without creating economic incentives and inadvertently developing markets for such products, iv) how to estimate the possible consequences for fish stocks and the marine ecosystem of the removal of biomass hitherto discarded at sea, v) how to control and monitor compliance with the new rules, and vi) how to estimate and monitor the socioeconomic consequences of the new regulatory framework, not only on the fishing fleets but also on local communities. Proposals should address in particular innovative technologies and practices, as well as simulation modelling of harvesting unwanted catches, to reduce and avoid discards, especially for fisheries with high discards rates, including on small-scale fisheries.

The proposals should also consider the attitudes and perceptions of stakeholders, as well as the potential of participatory approaches in improving the compliance with the new rules. Finally, proposals should address economic and social dimensions of the above-mentioned problems and should create bridges between cutting-edge research and technologies, fishermen, processors, wholesalers, retailers, policy makers and consumers.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

         Support through research and innovation a key orientations for the CFP regarding discards elimination

         Contribute to implement the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requiring moving towards good environmental status and in particular the descriptors related to 1: biological diversity, 3: population of commercial fish and shellfish, 4: elements of marine foodwebs

         Improved social and societal acceptance of conservation measures

         Increased level of control, compliance and enforcement of rules

Type of action: Research and innovation actions

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme. 

    3.2 Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.
  5. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:
    Information on the outcome of one-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the final date for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 3 months from the date of informing successful applicants.

    Information on the outcome of two-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the final date for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 3 months from the date of informing successful applicants.

  6. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template (administrative forms and structure of technical annex)
    Standard evaluation form
    Annotated Model Grant Agreement

  7. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  8. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.


Additional documents

  • Legal basis - Framework Programme H2020 en
  • Legal basis - Specific Programme H2020 en
  • WP H2020 - 1. Introduction en
  • WP H2020 - 9. Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy en
  • WP H2020 - 17. Communication and Dissemination en
  • WP H2020 - 19. General Annexes en
  • Call update - Results of the re-evaluation of proposals submitted under SFS-14a topic en
  • Flash info en

Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

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