|Using discards not destined for human consumption|In: Environmental Conservation. Cambridge University Press: Lausanne. ISSN 0376-8929, more
CFP reform; Discard ban; Discard use opportunities; fishmeal; Perceptions; Selective fishing
|Authors|| || Top |
- Mangi, S.
- Catchpole, T.L.
he Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reforms agreed by European Union (EU) ministers include a discard ban where fishers will be required to land all fish they catch. The ban is expected to reduce the risk of capturing unwanted and low-value biomass species, and therefore should make fishing more environmentally and economically sustainable. The implications of introducing a discards ban may be gauged by assessing the practical and economic issues surrounding whether discards not destined for human consumption can be used once landed. Interviews with company managers established the attitude of the main commercial outlets towards suitability of, and interest in using discards. Results indicate that opportunities for using discards include reduction to fishmeal and fish oil, ensiling, composting, anaerobic digestion with energy recovery, and freezing (prior to use as bait). In the UK, nine main outlets expressed interest in using discards as raw materials to process into animal, pet and aqua feed; organic fertilizer; frozen bait; and other products, such as renewable energy generation. Estimates of discard quantities from English fleets show that most of the outlets are not located close to the main landing ports where the discards would likely come ashore. However, most outlets have extensive established transport links, which would enable them to cover even the remote ports. Preliminary analysis on cost of discarding shows that a discard ban will lead to increases in annual operating costs for fishers ranging from GB£ 1709–90 959 yr−1 (£1 = US$ 1.52, May 2013). Assuming that discards are processed for fishmeal, fetching c. GB£ 130 t−1, then majority of the fishers will make losses in their fishing operations. Such losses could lead fishers to adopt more selective gears in order to avoid catching unwanted species and thereby help conserve the marine environment. Finding potential uses for discards is important in the context of the proposed land-all catch policy under the reformed CFP, but the primary goal of government should be to prevent the capture of unwanted fish.