What is the MINOUW project?


The MINOUW Project is made up of over 15 different maritime science institutes and bodies from across Europe, and brings together scientists, fisherman, NGOs and policy makers.

It aims to encourage the adoption of fishing technologies and practices that reduce unwanted catches, and contribute to the eventual elimination of discards in European fisheries.

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Creating a positive change in the sea

What is the problem?


The catching of unwanted species is a pervasive problem in fishing worldwide. In most cases unwanted catches are returned dead to the sea as discards - a waste of natural resources and a threat to the health and stability of marine ecosystems.

What are we doing?

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Conducting research

To understand the nature of discards and their impact in ecological, socioeconomic and technical terms, the project includes 17 case studies spread across 7 countries, featuring fisheries based on trawl gears, purse seines, dredges, traps, pots, nets and loglines.
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Finding solutions

We identify, develop and test innovative technological and social solutions to avoid unwanted catches, and assess their suitability and practicality, their effect on the level of discards, and the impact of any reduction on the local marine ecosystem.
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Sharing knowledge

Key to the project is the exchange of skills, information, knowledge and practices. From research and data to new technologies or innovations, we are building a broader understanding of the problem and potential solutions among stakeholders at all levels.
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Recommending policies

As well as a review of the European policy framework, and raising awareness of its main aspects in the fishing industry, the project will provide policy recommendations aiming to incentivise selective fishing and the best use of unwanted catches brought on land.

Equal partners, working together


To be successful we believe it is vital to place fishermen at the centre of the design and implementation of actions to promote change.

From field work to knowledge exchanges and high level events, scientists, fisherman, technologists, fish producers and NGOs all participate on an equal footing. Everybody works collaboratively to provide the scientific and technical basis to achieve the project goals.

Applying science and innovation


From research to establish the character and impact of discards in European fisheries to assessing, testing and evaluating advances in fishing gear and practices, the project combines scientific research and analysis with the application of technological or social innovations that can help reduce unwanted catches.

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Paolo's Story

Creating a positive change in the sea


The primary goal of the MINOUW project is to create a 'positive change in the sea'. The project's participatory approach makes fishermen the main actors in creating this change. By bringing them together to look at problems and evaluate possible solutions with researchers, scientists, technologists and policy makers, we develop practical solutions that can be successfully adopted and implemented, and that have real impact.

Latest Posts

MINOUW Fishermen’s exchange programme, Faro, Portugal, 20th to 23rd March 2017

It’s Monday the 20th of March, early morning, and two purse seine fishermen from Kavala – Giannis and Stathis – meet Giorgos (WWF Greece’s marine officer) and myself at Athens International Airport to start our long journey to Faro, Portugal. We’re taking part in an exchange programme under the MINOUW

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Balearic Islands boat seine fisheries: the transparent goby fishery an example of management

An economically important, small-scale fishery operates during the winter months in Mallorca. Using a special surrounding net that is hauled over the sand and gravel bottoms of bays at depths reaching 30 m, it primarily targets Aphia minuta and Pseudaphya ferreri, but other goby species and juveniles of the Pagellus

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Fisheries Exchange Norway

More than 25 years ago, Norway introduced a ban on discards to stop the decline of the Arctic cod. As a result, stocks of the species have recovered. The country’s fisheries minister at that time, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, declared: “I hope the rest of Europe will see this ban can be

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