|Integral Networking of Fishing Sector Actors to Organize a Responsible, Optimal and SustainablenExploitation of Marine Resources
|Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IMM-CSIC), Vigo, Spain
Discarding - the dumping overboard of dead, unwanted fish caught as by-catch - is a serious problem in European fisheries and one which, in the view of the Commission, must be addressed as a high priority (COM, 2007). A new discard policy will try to reduce unwanted by-catches by encouraging behavior and technologies which avoid them. The mechanism are a progressive introduction of a discard ban – where all finfish and crustaceans caught will have to be landed – and supplementary measures such as encouragement to improve the selectivity of fishing gear, requirements to change fishing ground and real time closures.
The main objective of the project is the development and implementation of an efficient and integral discards and by-catch management network, implying all actors present in the fishing sector (fleets, ports, auctions, industries, etc.), which both aims the minimisation of discards/by-catch as well as their optimal valorisation to recover and to produce valuable chemicals of interest in the food and pharmaceutical industry. These valorisation technologies were already stated in a previous LIFE Project called BE-FAIR. This objective complements the European Commission guidelines oriented to the responsible and sustainable management of the European fishing activity, specially in what refers to “the reduction of unwanted by-catches and progressive elimination of discards” and “making the best possible use of the captured resources avoiding its waste” (EC communication on the reform of the CFP).
In this way, the project objective aims to contribute to the minimisation of the adverse ecological and environmental impact of fishing activities, by helping fleets comply with the so-called “no-discard” or “zero-waste” production aboard which, in agreement with the common fisheries policy, is aimed to promote a responsible and sustainable management of fisheries. In keeping with this objective, several goals will be pursued, namely (1) to reduce unwanted by-catch by better understanding of fish behaviour, avoiding fishing mortality on non valorised species and permit easy found on catches demanded by industry (with subsequent reduction of fuel consumption); (2) to select the target fisheries based in historical analysis of the total catch composition and analyse the obtained “total catch-métiers” in order to understand their spatial-temporal behaviour, which could be used as base to forecast their catch supply along the year, (3) to develop a complete characterization of discards on the selected fisheries (based on proposed automated classification, analysis and data collection tools) as potential raw material for different valorisation processes in land, (4) to determine different action protocols to minimise that unwanted by-catch, (5) to create a supervisory network for an efficient and integral discards management based on information flows exchanged between fleets and in land agents (offer and demand, respectively) and (6) to demonstrate the benefits of the proposed discards management environment.