This menu organises news, documents, projects, profiles and links into key topics, and the menu along the top divides the contents of the site by type.
Bycatch / discards
Chain of custody / Supply chain management
Corruption / mismanagement
Flag state issues
Governance / management
International trade / WTO
Monitoring, control and surveillance
Port state issues
Retail / consumers
18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
WWF and M&S promote solutions to discarding
Discarding, the practice of dumping unwanted fish overboard, is one of the most unethical and uneconomic problems facing our fishing industry. But it's also an issue that forward-thinking fishermen are striving to resolve with the application of new types of selective fishing gear. WWF is calling for the mandatory use of such selective gear in European fisheries, and together with M&S has produced a new guide to the many types of gear that can ultimately reduce discards and help protect our commercial fish stocks.
Avoiding capture of unwanted fish is vital to allow dwindling fish stocks to recover. In the seas around the UK, about one million tonnes of fish, cephalopods (squid) and commercial shellfish are discarded each year. In England and Wales, around 40 per cent of fish caught by commercial vessels are subsequently thrown away.
Sally Bailey, marine programme manager at WWF-UK, says: 'Tackling discards has to be a priority for the whole of the supply chain, including Governments and the fishing industry. WWF is working with retailers like M&S to review solutions to the huge problem of discards and in response to this issue we have produced a guide to actively promote some of the selective gear we are advocating to the catching sector. We advise all seafood retailers and processors to insist their suppliers use the most appropriate selective gear in their fisheries.'
The WWF guide, a reference tool for those in the fish processing and retail industry, describes some of the advances that have been made in improving the selectivity of trawl nets. Bottom trawling can be one of the most damaging fishing techniques for marine ecosystems. Currently these trawls account for more than 80 per cent of the discards generated in the seas round the UK.
However it is possible to minimise the impacts of trawling on the marine environment and low-cost solutions to reduce the amount of discards in these fisheries. The WWF guide shows that the application of selective gear to the south-west beam trawl mixed fishery has led to a reduction in discards of 60 per cent. In the North Sea roundfish otter trawl fishery, there has been a 90 per cent reduction in cod catches using the Eliminator trawl, an innovative piece of fishing gear that won WWFs Smart Gear prize in 2007.
The economic benefits of using such gear is clear, when you consider that the South West beam trawl fishery discarded 68 million fish between 2002 and 2005, and the North Sea roundfish trawl fishery up to 10.5 million fish in just two years.
M&S is one retailer that is moving away from sourcing fish caught by beam trawls in favour of lighter, less destructive methods, such as Danish seine nets.
Mike Barry, head of sustainable business, at M&S says: "Marks & Spencer has always sought out the most sustainable sources of seafood for our customers. We hope the examples used in this report will show that there are ways to reduce the problem of discarding, and encourage others to make the most of the new net designs available."
click to view source website
Issues/Bycatch / discards
Issues/Chain of custody / Supply chain management
Issues/Retail / consumers