The complexity of the problem of banning discards and bringing all unwanted catches to land makes it necessary to follow a multi-actor approach, whereby scientists, fisheries technologists, fish producers and NGOs work collaboratively to provide the scientific and technical basis to achieve the gradual elimination of discards in European marine fisheries. The project’s overall objective is to minimise unwanted catches by incentivising the adoption of fishing technologies and practices that reduce pre-harvest mortality and post-harvest discards, while avoiding damage to sensitive marine species and habitats. The general approach is based on technical/technological and socioeconomic solutions on a case-by-case analysis of the main types of European fisheries. The project will analyze existing and potential discard-mitigating innovative technologies in workshop roundtables with participation of fishers, technologists and scientists. The technologies selected will be tested in field trials to experimentally assess their efficiency: among other, improved precatch identification with observational technologies, pre-harvest loss reduction by gear modification and switching to low impact gear, and use of artificial light to take advantage of selective attraction/avoidance reactions of marine organisms. The results will be analyzed in terms of technological advances, marketability and cost-benefit analysis. Other actions included in the project are social and economic instruments to incentivise selective fishing and discourage discarding practices, such as ecolabelling, fisheries certification and promoting awareness among industry and consumers, and mathematical modelling of ecosystem effects of unwanted catches reduction.


MEFISTO 4.0 released

A new version of MEFISTO (Mediterranean Fisheries Simulation Tool) has been released. MEFISTO 4.0 is a fisheries bioeconomic model that can serve as decision support tool in assessing the biological and economic impacts of the Landings Obligation.

Download here

New discard plans adopted for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea

The Commission has adopted today two Delegated Regulations establishing discard plans for certain demersal fisheries in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea. Discarding is the practice of returning unwanted catches to the sea, either dead or alive, either because they are too small, the fisherman has no quota, or because of certain catch composition rules.

Read the full article here

New landing obligations adopted for the Atlantic and the North Sea

This month the Commission adopted three Delegated Regulations establishing discard plans for certain demersal fisheries and one for pelagic fishery. Discard plans are a temporary measure facilitating the phase-out of discards and the phase-in of a new region-specific style of fisheries management.

Read the full article here


On July 14 and 15, fishermen, scientists, government representatives and WWF met in Blanes & Roses, Catalunya to discuss the progress of the MINOUW project.

HIGH LEVEL EVENT MINOUW, Opening Social Solutions

Location: Blanes, 14 - 15 July 2016

"Science, Technology, and Society Initiative to minimize Unwanted Catches in European Fisheries" - A stakeholders engagement process with fishermen, scientists and decisions from Spain, Portugal, Italy, EC.

Is Europe ready for a results-based a pproach to fisheries management? The voice of stakeholders

The reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), adopted by the European Union in 2013, aims to achieve sustainable exploitation of marine resources. Beyond the mainstream of stakeholders׳ engagement, the literature increasingly calls for shared accountability in fisheries management. In such scenarios, identifying stakeholders׳ insights becomes critical for a successful design of innovative management approaches. This paper analyses how the stakeholders perceive a results-based management system for four fisheries in different European sea-basins as well as at a pan-European level.

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