Thursday, 3 May 2018

The Discard Action Group

The Discard Action Group is a forum for the discussion of industry-wide problems relating to discards.

The Discard Action Group (DAG) was set up by Seafish in 2009 in light of the many initiatives being adopted by the fishing industry to reduce discards. It is a prime example of an integrated, interdisciplinary, co-operative approach to the issue, and is the only UK cross-industry group addressing the discards issue from all perspectives.

The group is indicative of the whole seafood supply chain with representatives from the catching sector, environmental non-governmental organisations, legislators, regulators, technologists, scientists, retailers, foodservice and, where appropriate, the media. It is a key forum to allow individual interests to have a voice in the debate and to explore means by which discarding can be reduced to the minimum level practicable.

The group is chaired by Mike Park, Seafish Board member and Chief Executive, Scottish White Fish Producers Association Limited. The group meets twice a year.

The Discard Action Group Terms of Reference can be read here. All the presentations and minutes from DAG meetings are below. The last meeting was on Tuesday 13 February 2018 in London. The next meeting will be in October 2018.

Seafish is undertaking a lot of work with regards to the introduction of the Landing Obligation (which will be introduced gradually, between 2015 and 2019 for all commercial fisheries (species under TACs, or under minimum sizes) in European waters. We are providing valuable services to industry and government and our coordination role in communicating about ongoing projects is limiting duplication of work. Key work areas for Seafish are: economic implications; gear selectivity; the Seafish Discard Action Group; briefings and guidance; outreach; a project to assess the impact of the LO on the UK supply chain; sectoral support; and marketing and communications. See

For more information about the Discard Action Group or to be added to the mailing list please contact Karen Green.

Landing Obligation

How to introduce the landing obligation is one of the most difficult issues facing the fishing industry under the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

In 2009 the Commission launched a wide-ranging debate on the way that EU fisheries are managed. The new CFP came into effect 1 January 2014. A key element of the reformed CFP is the progressive elimination of discards in EU fisheries through the introduction of a landing obligation. This is being introduced progressively from 1 January 2015.

This constitutes a new regime in European fisheries management and making this work for every part of the fleet will require a great deal more work - for both industry and government - to prepare to implement the landing obligation.

There are a number of documents and links below which explain generally what is meant by the landing obligation and the legislative framework, and the issues it is raising for the seafood industry.