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Download the compilation document of European Discard projects.



The European Fisheries Technology Platform (EFTP) celebrated its General Assembly the 24th November. Click here to read the conclusions

The last 15th of March, a delegation of EFTPs’ (European Fisheries Technology Platform) Board of Directors met with the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ms. Maria Damanaki. The aim of the meeting was to make the EFTP available for the Commissioner and for DG Mare and to show the progress achieved in this organization.









Catching systems: Close co-operation between Fishing Gears Technology to will ensure that consideration is given to evolving catching technology that optimizes quality and mitigates damage to fish.

Catch handling systems: Introducing simple layout changes and automating handling processes enables more rapid sorting of catch yielding up to 20% improvements in work productivity. Working closely with Fishing Vessel Technology will allow for improvements in layout and introduction of automated handling systems:

  • Boarding: Introducing systems that allow for gentle boarding of the catch.
  • Sorting/Grading: The practical use of conveyor, gutting, filleting, prawn grading and de-heading systems can improve quality and reduce manpower requirements
  • Chilling: The need to rapidly chill at the earliest opportunity is the key to premium quality. A wide range of onboard chilling innovations exist that can be facilitate the wide diversity of catch handling systems to suit different métiers.

Adding value: The production of high specification products onboard (e.g. filleted retail packs) provides a real opportunity to optimize financial returns to the vessel. This can be achieved through the adaptation of basic onshore technologies onboard. Upskilling crew in the use of these technologies, in addition to knowledge on food safety and product quality are essential pre-requisites.

Quality & environmental electronic systems onboard: It is highly unlikely that Europe will be able to compete with low cost developing countries on price in the medium term. It is therefore necessary that products produced within Europe can be differentiated by demonstrating excellence with regard to quality and the environment, which are the two main drivers, after price. To allow appropriate differentiation it is important that suitable guidelines and standards are developed to facilitate training and transfer of knowledge to industry. In addition the use of electronic systems that allow for the input, collation and output of data can greatly facilitate the management of information required for differentiation.

By-product utilization: There are numerous nutraceutical products that can be extracted from fish by-products. However currently the vast majority of fish offal and non commercial fish species are simply discarded. To improve on this situation it is important to establish the current state of the art. From this, valuable by-products that are in commercial demand can be identified along with the appropriate methods for onboard storage and preservation to ensure the required specifications are met. These elements will be investigated initially to allow the maximum utilization of the seafood resource to be achieved in the future.

Scope and objective of this WG


Currently 40% of seafood consumed within the EU is imported. In addition many of our traditional international export markets are now occupied by cheaper seafood products supplied by lower cost base competitors. It is estimated that 75% of whitefish stocks within the EU are currently over-fished.  This has resulted in reduced catch yields of up to 35%, which essentially means significantly increased costs to catch the same quantity of fish. In addition, in an attempt to reverse the trend of declining stocks; the Commission has imposed severe catch restrictions for a wide range of vulnerable species, further restricting catching opportunities. It is clear that a wide range of complex challenges must be overcome to ensure Europe can compete in the global seafood market. The reform of the CFP, which is due to be completed by 2012, will hopefully yield a more effective management regime and allow for improved sustainability of the stocks. In addition, the thematic areas identified within the EFTP will allow for evolving initiatives that strengthen the seafood sector within Europe. Fish and Seafood Technology will integrate with the other thematic areas to optimize the chances of a sustainable seafood industry within Europe. The following are suggested focus areas.




























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Technical secretariats


Working group meeting reports available:


>Fishing Discards. Tackling the problem from a research and innovation perspective



>"Summary report and recommendations obtained from the workshop: fishing vessel technologies. Challenges for a sustainable european fishing fleet"








































































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