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Report on the 3D drawings and cost-benefit tools developed for Icelandic, North Sea and Bay of Biscay case studies

Viðarsson, Jonas; Ragnarsson, Sigurður; Einarsson, Marvin Ingi; Sævarsson, Birgir; Sævarsdóttir, Rakel; Szymczak, Piotr

Executive Summary

The Common Fisheries Policy of the EU is currently implementing a landing obligation, which will require fishermen to land all catches that are subjected to catch limits (with some minor exemptions). This discard ban is to be fully implemented by 2019 and fishermen are currently struggling to see how they can meet with these requirements. The DiscardLess project is aimed at assisting the fishing industry to successfully adapt to the landing obligation. Work package 5 in the DiscardLess project focuses on providing stakeholders, such as fishermen and fishing vessel owners, with alternatives for on-board handling of the previously discarded catches.

This report provides an overview of the work that has been done in task 5.4 in the DiscardLess project. The aim of that work has been to take suggested solutions from previous tasks in the work package on on-board handling of unwanted, unavoidable catches for four different fleet segments and present those solutions in 3D drawings, accompanied with a simple cost-benefit tool that allows stakeholders to estimate the economic feasibility of investing in the suggested solutions.

The fleet segments selected represent a descriptive cross-section of European fisheries in terms of fleet composition and main challenges i.e. 11-meter coastal vessel, 23-meter Danish seiner/trawler, 39-meter bottom trawler and 50-meter bottom trawler.

The 3D drawings and the cost-benefit tool have been made available at the DiscardLess webpage http://www.discardless.eu/tools which enables stakeholders, such as fishermen and fishing vessel owners, to see in a visual manner how the suggested solutions can be fitted on the vessels and whether or not investing in them is likely to give economic returns.

The suggested solutions are first and foremost intended to provide fishermen with realistic alternatives for meeting the requirements of the landings obligation in Europe, as they are preparing for the implementation of the discard ban. The solutions do therefore need to be practical and economically feasible. Along with those suggestions we have also included recommendations for improved on-board handling technologies, which are expected to increase the value of catches regardless of the implementation of the landing obligation.

The solutions focus largely on separating between the target catches and the unwanted catches, and in particular to provide alternatives for processing and storing under Minimum Reference Size Catches, which cannot be utilised for direct human consumption according to the landing obligation of the EU Common Fisheries Policy.


Report Highlights

  • Available alternatives for handling UUCs on-board fishing vessels is primarily dependant on the vessels size, catch composition and how long the vessel is out at sea in each fishing trip.
  • Best practice on-board handling when it comes to bleeding, gutting, cleaning and chilling of all catches increases the potentials for making high value products from the raw materials. This applies for target catches and UUCs alike. Poorly handled or spoiled UUC have limited options for utilisation, even if it is not intended for human consumption.
  • The EU fishing fleet consists of roughly 85 thousand vessels, of which 85% are small coastal vessels below 12 meters in length. There are very limited options for this fleet segment to handle UUCs in special way. The most applicable alternative is to keep UUCs in different coloured boxes, this has particularly to apply for the catches below MCRS and other raw materials that are not meant for human consumption.
  • The larger the vessels are, the more alternatives become available for handling UUCs. The catches intended for human consumption can generally be handled as the target catches. It is only the catches intended for non-human consumption that need special attention.
  • Differently coloured boxes/tubs, bulk storage, mincing, compression, silage preservation, Fish Protein Hydrolysate, Fish Protein Concentrate and fishmeal/fish oil production are amongst the available alternatives for utilising UUC on board vessels that have the space available.


The methods/approaches followed:

  • Suggested solutions from previous tasks in WP5 of the DiscardLess project on on-board handling of UUCs for four different fleet segments were drawn up in 3D and these drawings have been made available on the DiscardLess website, which allows stakeholders to see in a visual manner how solutions can be fitted on-board vessels.


How these results can be used and by who?

  • The 3D drawings, along with the cost-benefit tool that is now publicly available at the DiscardLess website will enable fish business operators, vessel owners, fishermen, policy makers and other stakeholders to better understand some of the available options that can be used for handling UUCs on-board fishing vessels and as results contribute to a successful implementation of the Landing obligation.
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