Pilot project on catch and discard composition including solutions for limitation and possible elimination of unwanted by-catches in trawl net fisheries in the Mediterranean (DISCATCH). [MARE/2012/24 SI2.672370]
Conservation standards for sustainable exploitation, within an ecosystem approach to fisheries management, increasingly urge the elimination of the wasteful practice of biomass discarding at sea. Understanding the reasons for discarding and identification of solutions to tackle the bycatches of unwanted species and specimens is essential if discards are to be eliminated without affecting the minimum requirements of conservation standards. To strengthen the scientific basis for the ecosystem approach to fisheries management the EU requires knowledge on the impact of fishing on the structure, functioning and services of the ecosystem as well as on the socio-economic aspect of innovations in fisheries technology and management. The current project will provide this basis. The success of this multi-disciplinary project, however, will critically depend on a clear a priori understanding of how these different topics are inter-linked and fit into the overall framework of the project.