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Research article2015Peer reviewed

Discards composition from Iberian trawl fleets

Fernandes, Ana Claudia; Perez, Nelida; Prista, Nuno; Santos, Juan; Azevedo, Manuela


Fisheries discards are an issue of general management and societal concern. This study presents the first analysis and characterization of discards composition from Iberian trawl fleets using Portuguese and Spanish onboard sampling programme data from 2004 to 2012. The allocation of observed trips into clusters with similar catch composition (landings and discards) is a useful procedure for the analysis of discarding levels of trips within each cluster and to understand the motives associated to those discard levels. In general, results indicate that Iberian discard rates are highly variable being low in some specific fisheries, but moderate to high in most trips. Although a high number of species is caught in these fisheries only few contribute to 95% of total weight of catch. The main discarding motives identified are related to market forces and regulations. This work shows that no one-fits-all solution exists to the minimization of discards in Iberian trawlers and discusses an array of possible discard mitigation measures, namely the implications of the recently proposed EU-wide discard ban. (C) 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Discards motives; Fleet segmentation; Mixed fisheries; Portugal; Spain

Published in

Marine Policy
2015, Volume: 53, pages: 33-44

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Fish and Wildlife Management

    Publication identifier


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