Name of client: Directorate General For Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Name of partners: MRAG, IEEP, IFM, Oceanic Development Ltd. and Poseidon ARM
Dates (start/end): 3/2011 - 5/2011
A series of on-site interviews took place at key locations which have experiences in implementing and/or designing discard ban/monitoring programmes in their fisheries. The purpose of these site visits was to establish the challenges faced while implementing such a programme, assessment of the impacts (costs: management costs, fish price reduction; benefits: stock recovery, greater quotas) and estimation of actual levels of discards that were originally occurring. Further research through desk-based studies, on current policies and previous developments in the EU on discard policies. Relevant examples of discard policy development and implementation at an international level will also be considered to enhance and validate the research. In addition to data collected from these interviews and desktop studies, the comparison of results established from previous modelling work conducted during the Lot 4: Impact Assessment Studies related to the CFP was made. These models estimated changes in stock size and structure and total catch levels for cod and sole in the North Sea. These data complimented with FLR projections for species which have bycatch and discards included in assessments by ICES. It is clear that some action is needed to address the problem of discards in the EU. The no-action option is not considered to be viable, particularly given the stated objective of the progressive elimination of discarding in EU waters. Several important elements emerge from the case studies and other analysis carried out during this study that are associated with a higher likelihood of success of a strategy to eliminate discards. The possibility of a blanket ban on discarding, as has been used in a number of the case study countries, is clearly something being considered by the Commission. Such a discard ban is likely to have severe short term economic and social impacts in some fisheries, particularly those with high discard rates and marginal economic performance currently. Also, as shown by the case studies (e.g. New Zealand), it is not guaranteed to be successful and requires significant administrative support both to ensure compliance and to deal with the landings of previously discarded fish. A clear strategy to mitigate those impacts would be needed. More direct measures, such as gear modifications may be more acceptable to the industry, however, important issues such as the survivorship of fish escaping through devices such as square-mesh panels and other Bycatch Reduction Devices would need to be investigated to ensure that expected biological benefits are likely to be realised in practice..
Lamans contributed to the Studies made for Greece and Sicily and Adriatic Sea.