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Much ado about nothing: An example of how failed incentives thwarted the implementation of the EU landing obligation

Ovegård, Mikael and Sundelöf, Andreas and Valentinsson, Daniel (2021). Much ado about nothing: An example of how failed incentives thwarted the implementation of the EU landing obligation. Marine Policy. 123 , 104305
[Research article]

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With the introduction of the landing obligation in the EU common fisheries policy, there has been several initiatives to reduce unwanted catches of quota-regulated species. In this study, we present a flexible sorting grid as a potential solution for the problem of bycatch of saithe in the pelagic herring trawl fishery in the Skagerrak. The development of the grid was initiated by the industry and finalised through an industry-science collaboration project. The selectivity of the grid was evaluated through the use of an underwater camera system during conventional trawling with an industrial pelagic herring trawler. The results showed that the grid reduced the bycatch by more than 90%, from approximately 5% to 0.5% of the total catch. Given the scale of the pelagic fishery, this reduction could decrease unwanted bycatch of saithe by up to 1000 tonnes per year in the Skagerrak alone. These results were communicated to national industry and management representatives and to responsible EU management bodies and advisory councils. The work conducted within the project also drew interest at the yearly negotiations between EU and Norway. In their agreement for 2018, the EU and Norway agreed to establish a working group on technical measures in the Skagerrak tasked with reviewing selectivity of pelagic trawls as part of the terms of reference. However, in the agreed record of the delegations, the question of pelagic gear selectivity in the Skagerrak was a non-issue, although they concluded that the demersal bycatch can be substantial, that a sorting grid can reduce this bycatch and a sorting grid remains mandatory for Norwegian vessels in the Skagerrak. We argue that this result can be seen as a missed opportunity for the EU to reduce unaccounted bycatch in the Skagerrak and ensure better implementation of the landing obligation.

Authors/Creators:Ovegård, Mikael and Sundelöf, Andreas and Valentinsson, Daniel
Title:Much ado about nothing: An example of how failed incentives thwarted the implementation of the EU landing obligation
Series Name/Journal:Marine Policy
Year of publishing :2021
Article number:104305
Number of Pages:8
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SLU - Environmental assessment > Programme Coastal and sea areas
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Fish and Wildlife Management
Keywords:pelagic fishery, landing obligation, sorting grid, selective fishing
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Additional ID:
Type of IDID
ID Code:18752
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:26 Nov 2020 13:23
Metadata Last Modified:21 Jun 2021 11:58

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