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  • Glossary
Term Definition

The artificial rearing and husbandry of aquatic organisms; fish, shellfish and seaweed.


Bottom-living. Typical benthic organisms are sea urchins and sea stars. Although it is possible that some fish species may be truly benthic, it is usual to describe fish which spend most of their time on or close to the seabed as demersal.


Minimum spawning stock biomass, or limit biomass. See Precautionary Approach.


Precautionary biomass. See Precautionary Approach.


The lines (or sweeps) connecting a net to the main towing line, or in the case of static gear, to an anchor or buoy line.

By catch

Or bycatch. Species within the catch which have been caught incidentally, in addition to the target species towards which fishing effort is directed. It may be retained if a vessel has quota to land it, or some or all of it may be returned to the sea as discards, usually dead or dying.


A small, flagged buoy attached to the end of fixed gear or seine net warps to mark its position.

days at sea

A management measure used to limit fishing effort by restricting the number of days per month or year each vessel may fish.


Living on or close to the seabed. See benthic. The term also applies to fishing gear that is worked on the seabed


European Commisssion. One of the main Institutions of the European Union (EU). A Commission President leads a body of Commissioners, each nominated by their government. Each Commissioner has responsibility for one or more of the 24 Directorates- General, eg DG Fisheries & DG Environment. The Commission formulates and implements EU legislation.

ecosystem approach

The pursuit of a simultaneous understanding of the dynamics of all the populations in an ecosystem and their interactions with each other and their environment.


Referring to organisms living in the region between the surface and 200 m depth.


European Union is a political and economic association of 27 european nations.

fishing mortality

Deaths caused by fishing. An expression of the part of the total rate of deaths of fish due to fishing. Fishing mortality is often expressed as a rate that indicates the percentage of the population caught in a year.


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