A wasted resource: cod discards in the North Sea

Jordan P. Feekings, Jan Jaap Poos, Geert Aarts, Niels Madsen, Edwin van Helmond, Tom Catchpole, Marie‐Joelle Rochet, Alastair Pout, Jens Ulleweit, Sofie Vandemaele, Clara Ulrich

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


The public, political, and stakeholder perception of fisheries discards is that they are a waste of a valuable resource. In the North Sea, fisheries discards are some of the highest in the world. Cod (Gadus morhua) has contributed considerably to the amount discarded. The declining cod stock within the North Sea has resulted in changes in technical measures, effort restrictions, closed areas, and the establishment of a recovery programme for cod; all which have attempted to reduce the amount discarded. Here, we combine European Union discard data from seven Member States to describe the trends, spatially and temporally, in discarding over the past decade while pinpointing the major reasons to why it occurs. We discuss how such information can be used to improve future fishing activities and their subsequent catch compositions under a discard
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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