Reducing the discards of finfish and benthic invertebrates of UK beam trawlers

O Wade, AS Revill, A Grant, M Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We describe how discarding can be significantly reduced by incorporating some simple gear modifications to a beam trawl. These modifications were developed by the fishing industry in response to public concerns on the relatively high levels of discards in their fishery (ca. 70% discard rate). A national competition specifically created to facilitate the engagement of industry successfully resulted in the development of these gear-based discard solutions. The modifications produced discard reductions of around 60% (by number) and have been used on a continuous commercial basis for more than a year by the competition winner. All beam trawls used in the UK beam trawl fleet are similar in design, but we demonstrate that the modifications outlined here may not be universally acceptable across the whole beam trawl fleet, primarily because of the diversity in species targeted. This supports the idea that vessel-based discard mitigation targets might be a more effective tool than prescriptive gear technology legislation in the management of discard reduction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalFisheries Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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