Landing Obligation

How to introduce the landing obligation is one of the most difficult issues facing the fishing industry under the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

In 2009 the Commission launched a wide-ranging debate on the way that EU fisheries are managed. The new CFP came into effect 1 January 2014. A key element of the reformed CFP is the progressive elimination of discards in EU fisheries through the introduction of a landing obligation. This is being introduced progressively from 1 January 2015.

This constitutes a new regime in European fisheries management and making this work for every part of the fleet will require a great deal more work - for both industry and government - to prepare to implement the landing obligation.

There are a number of documents and links below which  explain generally what is meant by the landing obligation and the legislative framework, and the issues it is raising for the seafood industry.

General guidance

At EU and regional level

Discard Atlases:

 General guidance at UK level:

We have also created a number of pages which look at more specific aspects of the implementation of the landing obligation.

Seafish Best Practice Guidance for Assessing the Financial Performance of Fishing Gear

Although there has been significant investment in new gear design, and research and analysis of gear effectiveness, very few studies have addressed the financial impacts of the Landing Obligation for vessel operators. Uncertainty surrounding the costs and benefits of gear modifications may make vessel owners reluctant to make gear changes due to potential losses in time and revenue during trial periods. Before gear modifications are adopted, it is important to assess the financial effectiveness of gear modifications to make sure fishing operations remain profitable with new gear.

Seafish has developed Best Practice Guidance for industry and scientist-led gear trials to help vessel owners choose the right gear for their business. Seafish has also developed a Financial Assessment Spread sheet for vessel owners and trial supervisors (to use alongside the Best Practice Guidance), to provide a straightforward, standardised way for users to collect, analyse and compare gear trial results and assess the financial effectiveness of fishing modifications.

Seafish Landing Obligation panel in Malta, February 2016.

Seafish facilitated a Landing Obligation panel at the Seaweb Seafood Summit in Malta on Monday 1 February 2016. The aim of this session was to share the impacts of the LO on fisheries and fishers and to describe some of the tools that have been developed to minimize any adverse impacts. The session was facilitated by Mike Park, Scottish White Fish Producers Association. There were three additional speakers: Liane Veitch, ClientEarth; Hazel Curtis, Seafish; and Helen Duggan, Seafish. The presentations can be downloaded below.

Seafish briefing notes can be found below. For further information contact Karen Green