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. The last meeting was on Tuesday 18 July 2017 in London. The next meeting is on Tuesday 13 February 2018 in London. 

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 or to be added to the mailing list please contact Karen Green.

Discard Action Group minutes:

July 2017
November 2016
April 2016
November 2015
July 2015
March 2015
November 2014
July 2014
March 2014
October 2013
May 2013 
January 2013
November 2012 
October 2012 
July 2012 
February 2012
September 2011
June 2011 
April 2011 
February 2011 
October 2010 
June 2010

Presentations from 18 July 2017 meeting

Issues and fact-finding. Jurgen Batsleer, VisNed
Reputational risk of IUU from discards. Mike Mitchell, Fair Seas
Economic Impact Assessment of the LO. Arina Motova, Seafish
Spatial avoidance measures. Tara Marshall, Aberdeen University
North Sea Advisory Council 2018 implementation of the LO. Kenn Skau Fischer, NSAC
North Western Waters Advisory Council 2018 implementation of the LO. Liane Veitch, NWWAC
View on the LO post-Brexit. Barrie Deas, NFFO
Current Fisheries Innovation Scotland discard reduction projects. Richard Slaski, FIS
Discard reduction and acoustic selectivity. Christopher Corbieres, iXBlue
Gear Best Practice guidelines. Arina Motova, Seafish
GITAG Phase II active projects. Kenny Coull, Scottish Fishermen's Federation
Gearing Up. Katrina Ryan, Mindfully Wired Communications

Presentations from 25 November 2016 meeting:

Gear Innovation and Technology Group Phase II - Kenny Coull, Scottish Fishermen's Federation
Update on selectivity and UK trials - Mike Montgomerie, Seafish
Net Positive: Disruptive Seafood - Alex Olsen, Esperson
DiscardLess Project - Barry O'Neill, Marine Scotland
Seafish Bioeconomic Model Update - Seafish
Cefas activities - Stuart Hetherington, Cefas
North Sea and North Western Waters Discard Plans - Defra
Onshore management of unwanted catch - Defra

Presentations from 21 April 2016 meeting:

State of play on the implementation of the Landing Obligation - Pim Visser, EAPO
Choke species and zero TAC species - Pim Visser, EAPO
Seafish Landing Obligation Economic Impact Analysis work. Hazel Curtis, Seafish
Modelling discards in a multi-species fishery. Aaron Hatcher, Portsmouth University
Discard plan evidence. Sam Elliot, Cefas
Devolved Administration activities, Arvind Thandi and Liz Crocker, Defra
Project Trawlight. David Parker, Young's Seafood Ltd

Presentations from 25 November 2015 meeting:

Danish experiences with the Landing Obligation in the Baltic Sea - Kenn Skau Fischer, Danish Fishermen PO
Crystal Sea catch quota trials - Environmental Defense Fund, Cefas and Marine Management Organisation
Defra guidance on the demersal Landing Obligation - Sarah Adcock, Defra
Seafish Economic Impact Assessment - Hazel Curtis, Seafish
Monitoring fishery catch - Grant Course, SeaScope Fisheries Research Ltd

Presentations from 17 July 2015 meeting:

Impact of pelagic landing obligation on European pelagic fleet - Ian Gatt, PELAC Chairman
Impact of landing obligation on Dutch demersal fisheries - Jurgen Basleer, VisNed
Seafish study of supply chain impacts for landing obligation - Nathan de Rozarieux, Consultant
New Seafish fishing gear handbook and gear selectivity database - Mike Montgomerie, Seafish
Update on Cefas activities - Jon Elson, Cefas
Discard Plans for North Sea and North West Waters - Sarah Adcock, Defra