23 November 2020
Discards for Bait (2013-14)
The landing obligation has the potential to generate landings, some of which will not be suitable for human consumption.
A study into the feasibility of using sources of discards generated under the landing obligation for pot bait was completed for Seafish and Defra. This included assessing transportation and logistical considerations and trialling alternative baits in the crab and lobster fisheries.
Typical discard species were found to provide effective bait in the crab fisheries but not in the lobster fisheries. The key driver affecting the use of such sources for bait will likely be cost and the availability of freezing facilities to support the processing of fish not fit for human consumption.
Aligning Spurdog Management with the Landing Obligation under the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (2014-2015)
For the last few years spurdog ( Squalus acanthias) has been classified as a zero TAC species but the landing obligation for demersal species from 2016 has the potential to lead to a regulatory incompatibility, threatening to create an unmanageable choke species. One approach is to reclassify spurdog as a prohibited species but this does not address the underlying problem of dead discarding.
Possible alternatives to a zero TAC for spurdog are the focus of a Fisheries Science Partnership project undertaken by the NFFO in collaboration with Cefas. It draws on the idea of communicating real-time “traffic light” information on the aggregations of the species in order to inform avoidance behaviour. In return, this would be incentivised via a small by-catch allowance consistent with continued stock recovery.
The project included a workshop held in London, attended by industry, managers, policy makers and NGOs, to work through the various practical issues associated with the proposal. The intention is to undertake a trial in 2015 in the Celtic Sea. If successful, it may provide a model that could be applied to other potential choke species as the landings obligation is implemented.