Discarding is the throwing overboard of unwanted fish or benthic animals [In this study, we define discards in terms of discarded edible fish, crustaceans and benthic organisms. We exclude, therefore, discards of plant material, offal, sea mammals and sea birds.] that have been caught by sea fishing vessels. Some estimates suggest that up to 25% of the global amount of fish caught is discarded annually. In this comparative analysis of discarding in two contrasting North Sea fisheries ¿ the English Nephrops fishery and the Dutch beam trawl fishery ¿ we discuss the effectiveness of measures that might reduce their rates of discarding, including management measures, market forces and fisher's behaviour. Our findings are that despite the many differences between the two fisheries and their respective discard problems, one common thread ¿ the importance of appropriate incentives ¿ runs through both of them.
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