The importance of catch welfare in promoting both responsible and sustainable fishing is gaining international recognition. This has been highlighted by the new EU Landing Obligation (under the Common Fisheries Policy), where there is an exemption to release catch for "species for which scientific evidence demonstrates high survival rates, taking into account the characteristics of the gear, of the fishing practices and of the ecosystem".
As a direct consequence of the Common Fisheries Policy, and other national fisheries management policies around the world, there has been increased investment in research on discard survival and catch welfare, including transatlantic collaboration. This presents us with a unique opportunity to begin to identify potentially lethal factors in many different species across a diverse range of fisheries and ecosystems. Furthermore, the appropriate use of this information will enable us to identify potential mitigation measures to improve the long-term survival of released catch and the sustainable use of the ecosystem in which they were harvested.
In this theme session, speakers are encouraged to share their experiences of overcoming the challenges of promoting the survival of released catch and obtaining reliable estimates of survivability. It will be a forum to discuss how these results can best be used to promote the sustainability of both commercial and recreational fisheries as well as the welfare of the catch.
Papers are welcome on the following topics: