Visit the new FARNET 2014-2020 website

Implementing the discard ban: guidance for small-scale fisheries

Since the 1st of January 2016, demersal fishermen in certain parts of the EU are obliged to land all the fish they catch (link). To help those concerned by this “zero discards” policy, especially during the critical adaptation phase, many Member States are producing specific guidelines. See some examples below:

By Member state:

  • Marine Management Organisation - Guides on the discard ban, how the rules apply, selling undersize fish, reporting requirements and quota management (link)
  • Seafish - The Landing Obligation (The Discards Ban) (link)
  • Seafish - Potential Implications of the Landing Obligation on Onshore Seafood Supply Chains in the UK (link)


  • Direção Geral dos Recursos Naturais, Segurança e Serviços Marítimos - Aplicação da obrigação de descarga (link)


  • Guia para la aplicación de la obligación de desembarque para buques españoles a partir del 1 de enero de 2016 para las especies demersales (versión 23/12/2015) (link)


By maritime basins:



Research for EP PECH committee – “Options of handling choke species in the view of the EU landing obligation – the Baltic plaice example” (link)

Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) Landing Obligations in EU Fisheries - part 3 (STECF-14-06) link



Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF): Landing Obligation - Part 6 (Fisheries targeting demersal species in the Mediterranean Sea) (STECF-15-19) (link)