Discard Avoidance by Improving Fishing Gear Selectivity: Helping the Fishing Industry Help Itself
To address the challenges of the Landing Obligation, fishers need to be able to adjust the selective performance of each fishing operation in response to what they observe on the fishing grounds and to what they bring on board. This will include strategies on where and when to fish but also on how to fish, which we examine here. In particular, we focus on ways to encourage and support fishers to design, develop and test selective gears that will avoid unwanted catches in the first place. To this end, we highlight the necessity to increase awareness of existing solutions, the importance of understanding the capture process and how fish react to fishing gears, and the need to evaluate the economic implications of new gears. We examine the success of science-industry collaborations and emphasise the benefits of a flexible regulatory environment. Looking ahead, the fishing industry needs to keep up-to-date with new technologies that can be used to observe the interaction of fish and their gears and with new approaches to modifying selectivity.
KeywordsCatch avoidance Discard reduction Fish reactions to fishing gear Industry participation Selective fishing gears
Part of 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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