The Discard Action Group

The Discard Action Group is a forum for the discussion of industry-wide problems relating to discards.

The Discard Action Group (DAG) was set up by Seafish in 2009 in light of the many initiatives being adopted by the fishing industry to reduce discards. It is a prime example of an integrated, interdisciplinary, co-operative approach to the issue, and is the only UK cross-industry group addressing the discards issue from all perspectives.

The group is indicative of the whole seafood supply chain with representatives from the catching sector, environmental non-governmental organisations, legislators, regulators, technologists, scientists, retailers, foodservice and, where appropriate, the media. It is a key forum to allow individual interests to have a voice in the debate and to explore means by which discarding can be reduced to the minimum level practicable.

The group is chaired by Mike Park, Seafish Board member and Chief Executive, Scottish White Fish Producers Association Limited. The group meets twice a year.

The Discard Action Group Terms of Reference can be read here.

All the presentations and minutes from DAG meetings are below. We have archived presentations from previous meetings and the minutes prior to 2013 but these are available from E: Karen Green.

The last meeting was on Wednesday 10 October 2018 in London. The presentations are below and the minutes will follow in due course. The next meeting will be in Feb/March 2019.

Seafish is undertaking a lot of work with regards to the introduction of the Landing Obligation (which will be introduced gradually, between 2015 and 2019 for all commercial fisheries (species under TACs, or under minimum sizes) in European waters. We are providing valuable services to industry and government and our coordination role in communicating about ongoing projects is limiting duplication of work. Key work areas for Seafish are: economic implications; gear selectivity; the Seafish Discard Action Group; briefings and guidance; outreach; a project to assess the impact of the LO on the UK supply chain; sectoral support; and marketing and communications.  See

For more information about the Discard Action Group contact Karen Green. To be added to the DAG mailing list to receive our monthly news update and details on the meetings please register here 

Discard Action Group minutes:

February 2018
July 2017
November 2016
April 2016
November 2015
July 2015
March 2015
November 2014
July 2014
March 2014
October 2013
May 2013 
January 2013 

Presentations from 10 October 2018 meeting:

The landing obligation and the path to compliance. Barrie Deas, NFFO
Defra update on discard plans. Stella Bartolini Cavicchi, Defra
Impact of North East Atlantic Multi Annual Plans. Line Groth Rasmussen, DH MARE C1
Discards survival probabilities of flatfish and rays in North Sea pulse-trawl fisheries. VisNed/Cefas
REM scheme in the North Sea and scientific data collection. Martin Arris, Marine Management Organisation
Perspective on the introduction of cameras. Helen McLachlan, World Wildlife Fund
The Take Up of Selective Gears by Industry. Mike Montgomerie, Seafish
Overcoming Economic Barriers: The case for economic data collection. Ana Witteveen, Seafish

Presentations from 13 February 2018 meeting:

Technical Conservation Regulation and the North Sea Multi Annual Plan. Caroline Healy, EU PECH Adviser
UK Landing Obligation Analysis. Arina Motova, Seafish
Choke Species Analysis. Sara Vandamme, North Western Waters Advisory Council
Landing Obligation Industry Statement. Ally Dingwall, Sainsbury's/BRC
Seafish Gear Database. Mike Montgomerie, Seafish
Gearing Up Project. Harriet Yates-Smith, Mindfully Wired Communications
Best Practice Guidance. Ana Witteveen, Seafish
DiscardLess LED light work and selectivity data meta-analysis. Barry O'Neill, DTU-Aqua
Northern Ireland Gear trials. Ben Collier, Project Manager
Irish selectivity trials. Daragh Browne, BIM
Scottish gear trials. Jennifer Moatt, GITAG and Mike Montgomerie, Seafish
Post-catch survivability Norway lobsters. Amaya Albalat, University of Stirling