Onboard and Vessel Layout Modifications
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss challenges that the EU Landing Obligation presents to the onboard handling of unwanted catches and how vessel layout modifications can be applied to meet these challenges. The key challenge the industry is facing is having to bring ashore catches of little or no value, which requires significant effort to handle and takes up valuable space that is, in many cases, not available. Considering that 85% of EU fishing vessels are under 12 metres long and 97% are under 24 metres, it is evident that the majority of the EU fleet has limited options when it comes to handling and stowage of catches that would have been discarded prior to the implementation of the Landing Obligation. The Landing Obligation only applies to species subject to catch limits, which means that the current set-up on vessels can, for the most part, accommodate the fish of legal size that needs to be landed. The main challenge is catches of undersized fish that are not permitted to be used for direct human consumption. For those catches, the simplest approach is to handle them as targeted catch, which will allow them to be used for higher-value products such as pet food, pharmaceuticals, food supplements, etc. This is, however, not applicable for the majority of the fleet, due to a lack of space and the labour effort required. Solutions such as bulk storage and simple silage preservation are alternatives that are being explored for smaller vessels. The larger vessels have more options, such as full silage production, fish protein hydrolysate and fish meal production.
KeywordsAutomated classification Bulk landing Fish protein Fish silage Hydrolysate MCRS Onboard handling Vessel modifications
The content of this chapter is largely based on work carried out in the DISCARDLESS project and the Life iSEAS project. The DISCARDLESS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement DiscardLess No 633680. The Life iSEAS project has been co-funded under the LIFE+Environment programme of the European Union (LIFE13 ENV/ES/000131). This support is gratefully acknowledged.
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