Discard Reduction Manuals

The discard manuals can help fishery stakeholders design a management system that aligns incentives to reduce, and potentially eliminate, discards.

The practice of discarding—or returning a portion of the catch, dead or alive, to the ocean before offloading—has been a wasteful issue in fisheries for decades. As such, discarding is a practice that many fishermen, fishery managers and environmental groups would like to avoid. The discard manuals, listed below, are two resources designed to help achieve this goal.

Eliminating Discards can help fishery stakeholders align incentives to reduce and potentially eliminate discards through considerations in the design of a secure fishing rights program.

The EU Discard Reduction Manual is tailored to the EU context and was written specifically to help EU fishermen, fishery managers and Member State regulators find ways to successfully implement the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) landing obligation requirements.

Using the discard manuals, fishery practitioners can:

  • Identify strategies to incentivize discard reduction, improve accountability and compliance with discard reduction regulations.
  • Design or adapt existing management to improve selectivity of gears used and fishing techniques.
  • Access a suite of tools and resources that can respond to particular problems that fishermen face in reducing their discards.

As a result of reviewing the discard manuals, fishery practitioners can reduce or potentially eliminate discarding practices in a fishery that is operating or moving towards secure fishing rights. For fishermen in the EU, this process can also assist in meeting the landing obligation that bans discarding as part of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy reform.