The Best Way to Reduce Discards Is by Not Catching Them!
Under the Landing Obligation (LO) fishers will need to reduce or land fish that were previously discarded. In this chapter we look at how they might be able to do that by summarising a number of studies conducted in various European regions. We start by describing a series of “challenge” trials where fishers tried to reduce their discards by whatever (legal) means they thought best. In some cases, they were able to reduce unwanted catches, in others they were less successful. We also interviewed fishers not involved in the trials to ask them what they thought they could do. We explore their approaches which generally fell into three categories: more selective gear; tactical and strategic changes; and management changes. Scientific data (surveys, landings, and observers data) can also be valuable to help fishers to decide where and when to fish to best avoid unwanted catches and maximise opportunities to catch their quotas. We provide some examples of this type of approach, and also how these can be adapted for use as interactive online apps that fishers can use in planning or whilst at sea.
KeywordsChallenge trials Decision support tools Discard avoidance Fine scale mapping Fish distribution Fishers Fishing strategies Hot-spot maps
This work has received funding from the Horizon 2020 Programme under grant agreement DiscardLess number 633680. This support is gratefully acknowledged.
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