Discard survival (DISCO) (39152)

  • Madsen, Niels (Project Coordinator)
  • Methling, Caroline (Project Participant)
  • Skov, Peter Vilhelm (Project Participant)

Project Details


This project has developed methods and accumulated competencies and facilities, to be able to estimate discard survival and generate knowledge about the factors that affect this. The focus was on two commercially important species, plaice and Norway lobster. These species are relevant because there is a likelihood of a substantial survival.

The first trial was conducted from November to March from a less commercial trawler with Hirtshals as port. There was fishing for plaice with a consumption trawls and towed time was 3 hours. Test plaice were collected at four different time periods exposed to air on the deck, with a half-hour intervals up to one and a half hour. Furthermore, control plaice were collected from hauls with short duration. Plaice was stored in tanks on the vessel and transported to storage tanks on land at the North Sea Science Park in Hirtshals. Here, they were observed for 10 days. On the vessel were also carried out tests of reflexes and damage. The overall mortality rate increased by residence time on the deck of 0% and up to 24% after one and a half hours on the deck. The total mortality was estimated to 11%. Most plaice was above the minimum landing size. Reflexes decreased with increased time on the deck. There was no mortality in the control group. There were also carried out measurements of physiological stress indicators comparing with a reference group.

Another plaice study was conducted in Norway lobster fishing from Skagen in June and July from the same vessel. The plaice was stored in the same way at the vessel as the first experiment, and was transported in a pickup from Skagen to observation side in Hirtshals. Most plaice was below the minimum size. Mortality was totally 86% for test plaice and 0 % to 16 % for the control groups.
A final test was conducted to determine the mortality of lobsters. It was estimated to be from 100 % to 52 % of the individual hauls. Overall the mortality was 84% after 8 days here except experiments where there the refrigerated container was not functioning. Had these individuals been included, the mortality would have been lower. However, there were also deaths in the control group (total 18%) and generating more uncertainty for the estimates.

This project was coordinated by DTU Aqua and was funded by the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).

Research area: Fisheries Technology
Research area: Aquaculture
Effective start/end date01/03/201423/05/2015