This study has shown that solutions are being found for the problems of discarding fish at sea and that in certain fisheries there are definite trends towards greater utilisation. This is particularly apparent in shrimp trawl fisheries in tropical waters where the incidental catch of species other than shrimp can form the basis of a subsidiary, but important, local industry, providing food stuffs and employment to many. The way and speed with which this evolution occurs depends very much on local conditions but can be stimulated by new utilisation opportunities identified through research and development in the areas of fish technology, market intelligence and access to marketing information including exchange of information between different groups and regions.
In other fisheries, were there is pressure on resources and threats to sustainable fishing activities, the main thrust of development is the reduction of capture of potential discards. The use of selective fishing devices, management of fishing activities to reduce catch of vulnerable stocks is continuing although the need to take drastic action such as closures of fishing grounds and the reduction of fishing effort will no doubt still be necessary in these situations.
By highlighting some of the successful initiatives and ongoing trends in reducing discards by more complete utilisation it is hoped that this document will assist the world fishing community in the process towards more rational and less wasteful use of marine resources.