More selective gears and innovative strategies can improve exploitation patterns of stocks, reduce discards and accidental catches of vulnerable species, and mitigate the environmental impact of fisheries

Organised by:

Key reasons to attend this course

Have a thorough understanding of technical measures and innovative strategies to mitigate fishing impacts
Better understand the issues and principles related to selectivity of fisheries, discards, and accidental catches
Be able to recognise other direct and indirect impacts of fisheries on the seafloor, vulnerable species, benthic communities and habitats, food webs, and climate change
Be aware of the regulatory framework that aims to improve the ecological efficiency of fisheries, with special emphasis on the Mediterranean
Gain insight into international projects addressing the mitigation of discards, decarbonisation, fishing gear circularity, digitalisation, and artificial intelligence

Guest Lecturers

Alós, Josep - IMEDEA, Palma (Spain)
Comí, Pau - Xarxes Comí, La Ràpita (Spain)
Cuende, Elsa - AZTI, Sukarrieta (Spain)
Carpentieri, Paolo - GFCM-FAO, Rome (Italy)
Guijarro, Beatriz - IEO-CSIC Palma (Spain)
Massuti, Enric - IEO-CSIC Palma (Spain)
Ordinas, Francesc - IEO-CSIC Palma (Spain)
Quetlas, Antoni - IEO-CSIC Palma (Spain)
Sala, Antonello - CNR-IRBIM, Ancona (Italy)

Applied approach (lectures, practical group work, case studies and debate)

9 leading international experts

Course in English

Hybrid modality course


  • 1. Opening and programme presentation (1 hour)
  • 2. Introduction (2 hour)
    • 2.1. Fishing fleets and fishing gears
    • 2.2. Impact of fisheries and fishing gears
  • 3. Selectivity for static and mobile gears (2 hours)
    • 3.1. Species and size selectivity
    • 3.2. Gear parameters influencing selectivity
    • 3.3. Fish behaviour in relation to fishing gears
  • 4. Other fishing impacts (3 hours)
    • 4.1. Impact on the seafloor and benthic communities
    • 4.2. Impact on food webs
    • 4.3. Impact on protected, endangered and threatened species
    • 4.4. Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG)
    • 4.5. Greenhouse gas emissions and Carbon footprint
  • 5. Improving selectivity, mitigating bycatch, and reducing impact (10 hours)
    • 5.1. Modifications to fishing gears
      • 5.1.1. Mesh size, mesh type and mesh material
      • 5.1.2. Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs)
      • 5.1.3. Alternative rigging and operation
      • 5.1.4. Use of mechanical/visual stimuli
    • 5.2. Mitigation of bycatch of protected, endangered and threatened species
    • 5.3. Reducing impact on the seafloor and benthic communities
    • 5.4. Fishing tactics
      • 5.4.1. Fisher behaviour
      • 5.4.2. Handling of catches on board
      • 5.4.3. Implementing Essential Fish Habitats (EFH)
    • 5.5. Decarbonisation
    • 5.6. Regulatory framework
    • 5.7. GFCM programme and activities for improving selectivity, mitigating bycatch, and reducing impact
    • 5.8. Design of innovative and selective trawl fishing gear
  • 6. Assessing technological and innovative selectivity measures (7 hours)
    • 6.1. Planning selectivity experiments
      • 6.1.1. Design
      • 6.1.2. Data analysis
      • 6.1.3. Tools to simulate selectivity
      • 6.1.4. Reporting results and advice for fisheries management
    • 6.2. Practical work
      • 6.2.1. Estimation of selection curves and selectivity parameters
      • 6.2.2. Indicators of fishing exploitation patterns
      • 6.2.3. Prediction of fisheries yields after selectivity improvements (transition analysis)
  • 7. Ecological and socio-economic costs/benefits of improving selectivity and reducing other impacts (4 hours)
    • 7.1. Evaluation of selectivity improvements in trawls. A methodological approach for the Western Mediterranean
    • 7.2. Evaluation of bycatch reduction measures. A case study for dolphins in the Bay of Biscay
    • 7.3. Small-scale fisheries case study
    • 7.4. Recreational fisheries case study
  • 8. Recent research and innovation projects (2 hours)
    • 8.1. Strategies for the elimination of discards
    • 8.2. Decarbonisation. DecarbonyT
    • 8.3. ALDFG. EU Mission Searcular
    • 8.4. Fleet digitalisation. EVERYFISH
    • 8.5. Artificial Intelligence
  • 9. Conclusions and final discussion (1 hour)

Train at an outstanding international institution


The course is designed for professionals with a university degree, and is addressed to fisheries technical advisors, managers and researchers; fishing gear technologists; and other professionals involved in fisheries sustainability.

- 25 places will be available for face-to-face participation (32 hours of lectures and practical work).

- 25 places will be available for online participation (28 hours of lectures).

Candidates may apply online at the following address:
Applications must include a curriculum vitae and copy of the supporting documents most related to the subject of the course.
The deadline for the submission of applications is 5 May 2024. The deadline for candidates not requiring visa or financing is extended until 31 May 2024.
Registration fees for the course amount to 500 euro for face-to-face participation and 350 euro for online participation. This sum covers tuition fees only.

Candidates from CIHEAM member countries (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Türkiye) may apply for scholarships covering registration fees, and for scholarships covering the cost of travel and full board accommodation.. Preference will be given to applicants from low and middle-income countries. If you wish to request a scholarship, please complete the relevant section when you make your application online to participate in the course.

It is compulsory for participants to have medical insurance valid for Spain. Proof of insurance cover must be given at the beginning of the course. Those who so wish may participate in a collective insurance policy taken out by the Organization, upon payment of the stipulated sum.

CIHEAM Zaragoza

Av. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain

+34 976716000

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