Report Open Access

Identification of standard ecosystem evaluation criteria for the assessment of the Discard Mitigation Strategies

Morato, Telmo; Savina, Marie

Ulrich, Clara
Lehuta, Sigrid; Travers, Morgane; Pham, Christopher K.; Taranto, Gerald H.; Andonegi, Eider; Heath, Mike

Executive Summary

Standard criteria and indicators to assess the most relevant effects of discards on MSFD descriptors are required to ensure that the evaluation of the Discard Mitigation Strategies suggested in DiscardLess focuses on aspects relevant to the Good Environmental Status. The descriptors considered in DiscardLess to evaluate whether the Discard Mitigation Strategies promote GES are: the descriptors D1 (biodiversity), D3 (commercial fish and shellfish), D4 (food web), D5 (eutrophication) and D6 (sea-floor integrity).

DiscardLess uses a selection of the simulation models developed with Ecopath with Ecosim, OSMOSE, Atlantis, ISIS-Fish, and StrathE2E to assess the outcomes of scenarios in different case studies based on standard criteria. In D1.2, DiscardLess defined the criteria and indicators to be used in determining the effects of discards on marine ecosystems. Indicators were defined for the following criteria: population abundance or biomass (D1), population demographic characteristics (D1), composition and relative proportions of ecosystem components (D1), fishing mortality (D3), spawning stock biomass (D3), proportion of fish larger than the mean size of maturity (D3), performance of key predator species using their production per unit biomass (D4), proportion of large fish (D4), abundance trends of functionally groups or species (D4), nutrients concentration in the water column (D5), chlorophyll concentration in the water column (D5), dissolved oxygen changes and size of the area concerned (D5), and bottom trawling effort maps (D6). Discard Mitigation Strategies will be translated into scenarios and assessed by using projections. Resulting time series of criteria will be compared across strategies and to the baseline scenarios.

This is DiscardLess Project Delliverable Report 1.2 towards Strategies for the gradual elimination of discards in European fisheries.
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