Strategies for the gradual elimination of discards in European fisheries

European fisheries should operate without discards. This aim has been clearly expressed by both the European Union (EU) and other fishing nations in Europe, together with the overall intention to reduce the environmental impact of societies. 

In accordance with this, the landing obligation in the new EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) aims for a gradual elimination of discards of commercially exploited stocks on a case-by-case basis (EU, 2013). The landing obligation encompasses a subset of the catch only, whereby many species will still be legally discarded. This policy will thus lead to less discarding rather than discard-free fisheries. The name of our project reflects this important nuance.

DiscardLess will provide the knowledge, tools, and methods required for the successful reduction of discards in European fisheries. To achieve this, DiscardLess will work through collaborations between scientists, stakeholders and policy makers to support and promote practical, achievable, acceptable and cost-effective discards mitigation strategies, and to make the EU landing obligation functional, credible and legitimate.

The collaborative approach of DiscardLess will ensure that the developed tools, information and strategies will provide relevant, acceptable and cost effective means with a wide uptake in society which will result in the achievement of the goals of the landing obligation.

More information about the project can be found at the project website.