Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Discard Action Group meets again today.

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. We have archived presentations from previous meetings and the minutes prior to 2013 but these are available from E: Karen Green.
The last meeting was on Tuesday 13 February 2018 in London. The next meeting will be on 10 October 2018 in London.
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 contact Karen Green. To be added to the DAG mailing list to receive our monthly news update and details on the meetings please register here 

A full breakdown of Seafish's involvement with the implementation of the Landing Obligation is here:

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.
General guidance
At EU and regional level
Discard Atlases:
 General guidance at UK level:
We have also created a number of pages which look at more specific aspects of the implementation of the landing obligation.
Although there has been significant investment in new gear design, and research and analysis of gear effectiveness, very few studies have addressed the financial impacts of the Landing Obligation for vessel operators. Uncertainty surrounding the costs and benefits of gear modifications may make vessel owners reluctant to make gear changes due to potential losses in time and revenue during trial periods. Before gear modifications are adopted, it is important to assess the financial effectiveness of gear modifications to make sure fishing operations remain profitable with new gear.
Seafish has developed Best Practice Guidance for industry and scientist-led gear trials to help vessel owners choose the right gear for their business. Seafish has also developed a Financial Assessment Spread sheet for vessel owners and trial supervisors (to use alongside the Best Practice Guidance), to provide a straightforward, standardised way for users to collect, analyse and compare gear trial results and assess the financial effectiveness of fishing modifications.
Seafish Landing Obligation panel in Malta, February 2016.
Seafish facilitated a Landing Obligation panel at the Seaweb Seafood Summit in Malta on Monday 1 February 2016. The aim of this session was to share the impacts of the LO on fisheries and fishers and to describe some of the tools that have been developed to minimize any adverse impacts. The session was facilitated by Mike Park, Scottish White Fish Producers Association. There were three additional speakers: Liane Veitch, ClientEarth; Hazel Curtis, Seafish; and Helen Duggan, Seafish. The presentations can be downloaded below.
Seafish briefing notes can be found below. For further information contact Karen Green