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Seafish Articles Offer Advice on Reducing Discards

UK - Seafish, the authority on seafood, has placed a series of articles on its website which give a practical perspective on the discards issue and the work that Seafish, along with industry, has been doing to help develop new selective technologies and net-based fishing activities to reduce discards.

All the articles were written by Seafish Gear technologist, Mike Montgomerie.

"Discarding unwanted fish is widely acknowledged as an issue affecting almost all fisheries and fishing methods, and although significant progress has already been made towards reducing the levels of discards the rate of change needs to be stepped up. However we need to acknowledge there are many complex gear issues confronting fishermen in their daily work," said Mr Montgomerie.

"These articles reflect the practical work we have been doing at the Flume Tank at Hirtshals, where an essential part of all courses is to familiarise the fishermen with a wide range of methods to improve the selectivity of their trawls and reduce discards."

The six articles, published in Fishing News magazine between August 2011 and January 2012 look at: the reasons why fish are discarded and how to make an elementary estimation of catch profile; how the behavioural trends of fish can be exploited when designing and positioning discard reduction devices, or redesigning nets to reduce the number of fish discarded; square mesh panels and the options for fitting them; the use of vertical and horizontal separator panels, and coverless trawls; and finally the use of flexible and rigid grids.

Lucy Towers

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