Fish boxes used in CEFAS discard ban trial –

Fish boxes used in CEFAS discard ban trial Published:  18 December, 2012

With over 25 years’ experience servicing the needs of the fishing and seafood industry, PPS East are supporting and supplying CEFAS (The Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) with 50 x 50kg plastic fish boxes for use on board boats involved in a simulation of a discard ban that is funded by Defra and the MMO (European Fisheries Fund).

This trial will provide an opportunity to better understand what the consequences would be of a policy to land all catches, as proposed by the EU Commission. Observing the otherwise discarded fish massed together on the quayside in PPS fish boxes, it is hoped that this will make the levels of discarding much more obvious to fishermen, enforcement agencies, market staff and public. The processing of over quota but marketable fish into fishmeal was considered a waste of a food resource as well as a loss in potential revenue to the fishermen.

The project will be done in the south of England by vessels using different gears and have different catch and discard patterns. Each vessel will be required to land all of the commercial species that they catch and the trial will initially run for six months.

Dr Tom Catchpole, CEFAS’ lead scientist for this work, said: “The proposed CFP reforms include a move to land all catches but so far there have not been sufficient studies in Europe to know what the consequences of this would be. We intend to test the proposed policy in a practical way by simulating how commercial fishing vessels could be affected by a discard ban and the results will feed into the process of shaping the reformed CFP.”

Kate Williamson of PPS East added: “Obviously this practise of discarding has been highlighted in recent news programmes and as a company, we are fully committed to supporting the UK fishing industry, these trials and the work that CEFAS is undertaking as they look at the logistical and economic consequences of landing all catches.”