Discard self-sampling of the Dutch bottom-trawl fisheries in 2019

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

Abstract

In the European Union the collection and management of fisheries data is regulated through the Data Collection Framework (DCF) of the European Commission (EC). Within this context, Wageningen Marine Research (WMR) coordinates a discards monitoring programme in collaboration with the Dutch demersal fishing industry. A ‘reference fleet’ of vessels of which the owners are willing to participate in a selfsampling programme, was recruited in 2009 and has been extended and updated regularly. Annually approximately 160 trips need to be sampled by the reference fleet. Fishermen within the reference fleet are requested to collect discard samples of two hauls according to a definite annual sampling plan. In order to avoid any potential bias in trip selection and to work conform the statistical sound principles as defined in the DCF recast, from 2018 onwards the trips are randomly divided over the reference fleet and any refusals are recorded. After the discard samples are brought to shore, WMR collects and analyses these samples. This report summarizes data that has been collected within this self-sampling monitoring programme in 2019. In 2019 the reference fleet consisted of 21 vessels. In total, 158 trips were sampled in 2019. All sampled trips were assigned to their respective metiers post sampling, based on gear type, mesh size and species composition of the catch. Eight different metiers were assigned: beam trawlers with 80 (engine power > 300 hp and engine power ≤ 300 hp), 100-119 and ≥120 mm mesh size, and otter trawlers with 70-99 mm mesh size (targeting Nephrops, mixed crustaceans and demersal species, or demersal fish) and 100- 119 mm mesh size. Observed discard patterns are quite similar between all metiers; dab and undersized plaice are the most frequently discarded fish species. The majority of the benthic, non-fish, discards consisted of echinoderms and crustaceans. In order to monitor annual discard percentages, it is essential that the sampled trips follow the distribution of the fleet both in space and time; a mismatch between sampling and the distribution of the fleet could indicate a possible bias in the discard estimate. The results shows that sampling effort of the most intensely sampled metiers (i.e. TBB_DEF_70-99) indeed follows the fleet through space and time. However, for the less frequently sampled metiers this does not always appear to be the case. An important element in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the obligation to land all catches, i.e. a discard ban. Under this landing obligation all discards of quota regulated species have to be landed. For the demersal fisheries the landing obligation has been phased in over a number years. It is clear that as discarding will continue under various forms of exemptions (high survivability, de minimis, prohibited species), a discards monitoring programme remains necessary under the landing obligation. From 2016 onwards, monitoring of the catch fraction Below Minimum Size (BMS) has been included in the sampling protocol of the discards monitoring programme. So far, BMS has observed and registered sporadically in the self-sampling trips. An important element in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the obligation to land all catches, i.e. a discard ban. Under this landing obligation all discards of quota regulated species have to be landed. For the demersal fisheries the landing obligation has been phased in over a number years. It is clear that as discarding will continue under various forms of exemptions (high survivability, de minimis, prohibited species), a discards monitoring programme remains necessary under the landing obligation. From 2016 onwards, monitoring of the catch fraction Below Minimum Size (BMS) has been included in the sampling protocol of the discards monitoring programme. So far, BMS has observed and registered sporadically in the self-sampling trips.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationIJmuiden
PublisherStichting Wageningen Research, Centre for Fisheries Research (CVO)
Number of pages40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameCVO report
No.21.002

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