Discarding in the English Channel, Western approaches, Celtic and Irish seas (ICES subarea VII)

R Enever, A Revill, A Grant

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Discarding is a common feature throughout global fisheries and of widespread management concern. The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) catch and discard data collection programme has been conducting sampling operations on English and Welsh registered fishing vessels in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) subarea VII since 2002. Within this subarea, these vessels were found to mainly operate in the English Channel, Western approaches, Celtic and Irish sea. We present the findings of this work and estimate the annual quantities of discards (fish and cephalopods) in terms of numbers and weights between 2002 and 2005. Our analysis was conducted on 3643 hauls from 306 trips aboard commercial fishing vessels (142 different boats). An estimated 186 million (72,000 t) fish and cephalopods were caught every year of which 117 million (24,500 t) were discarded. Beam trawlers and otter trawlers were together responsible for more than 90% of these discards. In all, 182 fish and cephalopod species were caught, yet just 10 species constituted more than 50% (61.5 million) of the annual discards. We estimate that discarding levels in the region are higher (1.5×) than recently reported by the FAO.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalFisheries Research
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007


  • Discards
  • By-catch
  • English Channel
  • Western approaches
  • Celtic sea
  • Irish sea

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