Discards are those parts of the catch that are returned to the sea.
The level of discarding varies widely between fisheries, and within fisheries; in some they are almost negligible, others may discard more than they retain, up to 80% in certain fisheries.
There are many different reasons for discarding but the major reasons are :
- Fish for which there is no market
- Quota restrictions or percentage rules
- Benthic debris
Discarding of fish wastes resources – there is an urgent need to implement measures to reduce the level of discards.
Fishing News published a series of articles
- Introduction - published 5 August 2011
- Behavioural trends - published 26 August 2011
- Square mesh panels – published 20 October 2011
- Fitting square mesh panels - published 4 November 2011
- Separator panels and coverless trawls – published 25 November 2011
- Grids – published 27 January 2012
to try and give a practical perspective of how that may be achieved, unfortunately in many areas such as the Clyde, the resistance to any form of mitigation by the reactionary nephrops sector has seen many stocks depleted, some to the point of local extinction.