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.


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?


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.

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.

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.

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.


Creating a positive change in the sea

The primary goal of the MINOUW project is to create a 'positive change in the sea'. Our participatory approach places fishermen at the heart of creating this change, working together with researchers, scientists, technologists and policy makers to develop practical solutions that will have a real and lasting impact.

Latest Posts

Presentation of MINOUW studies results receives broad support.

The first public presentations of the results of the MINOUW project case studies received support from fishermen, members of the Mediterranean fishing industry (MEDAC) and high-level EU representatives at Palma de Mallorca, Spain on October 11th.

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Elisa Roller, EC DG Mare, talks about the landing obligation

Elisa Roller, EC DG Mare: “The landing obligation is for all fishermen to land unwanted catches, this enables us to avoid the discard problem.”

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Sorting grids – can Norwegian success be replicated in the Mediterranean?

Fisherman in Norway have been using an improved trawling technique to reduce discards for 20 years. The MINOUW project is working with them and their Southern European peers to adapt the technique for the Mediterranean.

Of all fishing techniques used across

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