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Landing Obligation

Landing Obligation (discard ban) in the Isle of Man

What is the Landing Obligation?

The Landing Obligation (LO) means that certain catches of fish are no longer allowed to be discarded at sea; it is the correct term for the ‘discard ban’.

When the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy was reformed in 2012, one of the main changes was to eliminate the practice of throwing unwanted catches overboard while at sea, a practice known as ‘discarding’, considered wasteful by both fishermen and fish consumers.

The LO was introduced for all pelagic fisheries in January 2015. Since then, it has applied to anyone engaged in pelagic fisheries, targeting mackerel, horse mackerel, herring, tuna, blue whiting and boarfish.

The LO for demersal fisheries came into effect on a phased basis from 1 January 2016 and it was extended further for 2017. This means it affects some demersal fishermen for some of their catches.

In 2019 the LO will be fully phased in and will affect all fishermen from all Countries operating fishing vessels in Isle of Man territorial waters. The LO applies to all quota species which are caught either as a result of a targeted fishery or an incidental by-catch in any fishery. This includes the local queen scallop and king scallop fisheries and the nephrops fishery.

Those using pots, traps and creels are unaffected by the new rules and can continue fishing as before. 

What do I need to do?

The Department has put together a Guide for Industry on the Landing Obligation as well as a Landing Obligation Q&A (see Downloadable Documents).

Futher information on Landing Obligation is also available at the following websites:

European Commission

The UK have published guidance Dealing with choke scenarios. While not all of this document is relevant to the Isle of Man you may find it useful to refer to.

UK guidance for handling undersize fish under the landing obligation is also available. Please be aware that under Isle of Man legislation the dumping of fish is an offence under the Public Health Act 1990. If you require information on Animal By Product regulations in the Isle of Man please contact the Environmental Health Unit.

Bycatch - grant support

Application can be made via DEFA's Agriculture and Fisheries Grant Scheme for Fisheries Grant funding to assist with sustainable fishing.

This would include applications for equipment leased or new in regards to:

  • methods to reduce bycatch
    • Includes training to increase the value of the bycatch
    • Includes equipment to store the bycatch

How to apply?

The Fisheries Grant application can be completed online by clicking the green button 'Apply now' on Agriculture and Fisheries Grant Scheme. Alternatively, request a paper copy of the application form by calling +44 1624 685838. Please note: grants will not be paid, except in relation to safety equipment, without prior approval. Please see Fisheries Grants Guidelines for Applicants for further details. 

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