Relaxing technical regulations under the Landings Obligation – effects on the discard ratio

Lars O. Mortensen, Hans Jakob Olesen, Søren Qvist Eliasen, Josefine Egekvist, Anna Rindorf, Clara Ulrich

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The landings obligation (LO), currently being implemented in the new CFP, puts major constraints on fishers, by making the landing of unwanted catch mandatory. Less restrictive technical rules (TR) in a results-based management frame have been suggested as a mechanism to release some of these constraints. To investigate the effects of the existing TR, some fishers were relaxed from TR during the trial and could freely choose and develop alternative gears, aiming to optimize annual catch value, while reducing discards. The study included 14 demersal fishing vessels, operating in the North Sea, Skagerrak and the Baltic Sea. Fishers used test and control gears interchangeably or in pairs and were required to sort and weight all discard of seven common target species on a haul by haul basis. All vessels were equipped for Fully Documented Fisheries, including cameras. Collected data were analyzed to investigate differences in landings, discards, discard ratio, CPUE, VPUE and DPUE, between conventional (control) and new gears (test). The results showed a varying degree of success, depending both on area and on choices made by the individual fisher. The best results were observed in the Baltic Sea, where relaxing technical rules led to major improvements in fishing patterns. But gear changes did not contribute much in fisheries where initial discards rates were already low
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventICES Annual Science Conference 2015 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 21 Sep 201525 Sep 2015


ConferenceICES Annual Science Conference 2015

Bibliographical note

ICES C.M. 2015/L:16

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