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Discarded fish survival study - MF1224

This project will aim to determine the survival rates of selected flatfish species (plaice, sole) as well as cuttlefish, all of which are currently discarded from the SW beam trawl fishery in the Western English channel. The discarding of fish from commercial fisheries is widely regarded as both unethical and unacceptable. While progress has been made (and continues to be made) to (a) improve the selectivity of fishing gears, (b) reduce fisheries management related discarding and (c) create new markets for less popular fish species, discarding remains at an unacceptably high level. Currently around one third of all fish caught are discarded in English and Welsh fisheries (by weight) (Cefas (2008-2010)).Presently, there are many knowledge gaps on the survival rates of fish discarded from our commercial fishing vessels.
Once the survival rate of a discarded species is understood, a more accurate assessment of the true biological and economic impacts of that discarding can be made. This is important, as some fishery management tools, such as discard bans for instance, may not be appropriate for species with relatively high discard survival rates. The future development of discard mitigation measures should wherever possible be underpinned by an ‘evidence-based assessment’ of the
discard survival rates of the fish discarded in that fishery. Without such an assessment, any discard mitigation measures developed could potentially be flawed.
To gain an estimate of the survival rate of plaice, Dover sole and cuttlefish which have been discarded by SW beam trawlers operating in ICES sub area VII. This estimate will be determined through onboard field research undertaken onboard commercial fishing vessels and will be completed by December 2012.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2012

Contractor / Funded Organisations
Sea Fish Stocks              
Fields of Study
Marine Fisheries