Fishermen and scientists working together to improve information about discards in the Dutch flatfish fisheries. Collaboration between scientists and fishermen within self-sampling projects will improve fisheries catch data, include more fishers’ knowledge and improve communication and understanding between the two sectors. This in turn will help fisheries managers fine-tune their policy.


To read a quick one page summary of the case study, its aims and achievements please click here.


Our Progress So Far

Self-sampling is a new form of research cooperation which has been developed between the Dutch fishing industry and IMARES since 2009. Self-sampling is used as a method of gathering catch data on fishing vessels, wherein:

  • fishermen collect samples of their catch
  • the samples are then processed by either fishermen or scientists
  • the processed samples are analysed by scientists.

Because self-sampling is much cheaper than paying onboard observers, it results in many more samples, spread across a wider geographic range.

Our case study takes a closer look at three of these self-sampling programmes. The first is the self-sampling fleet providing data for the data collection regulation of the EU (approximately 21 fishing vessels); the self-sampling for monitoring the effects of the pulse-fishery (appr.20 fishing vessels) and the self-sampling in the TR gears (appr. 52 fishing vessels). The three programmes have a different set-up with different goals as well as with different methods of self-sampling.

To find out how we’re progressing with our work, click on the links below.

36 Months On: Progress review from the Dutch case study

GAP2's dutch case study provides an update on its work over the last twelve months, with a focus on the discard ban.

Mar 2014
24 Months On: Update from the Dutch case study

24 Months On: Marloes Kraan gives an update of the GAP2 case study in the Netherlands.

May 2013
18 Months on: Progress Update on Dutch Case Study

Work continues on improving the selectivity of demersal fishing gear to catch less discards.

Nov 2012
One Year On: Progress Update on Dutch Case Study

Progress update on Dutch case study investigating self-sampling and discards, one year into the GAP2 project.

Jun 2012
Kickoff, DenkTank

Netherlands DenkTank to be consultative group for the Dutch discards case-study.

Oct 2011

Next Steps

Over the next few months, we plan to

  • Organise meetings between the scientists and fishermen involved in the self-sampling projects to discuss the results of the programmes, the method of self-sampling, the research cooperation, and the underlying knowledge of both scientists and fishermen on the topic of discards and stock assessments. We are planning for these meetings to be held in the second half of 2012 and first half of 2013.
  • Write a self-samplings guidebook.
  • Hold further interviews with scientists and fishers about the cooperation and the F-project and write an article on the basis of the intern’s report.
  • Start to make progress on addressing the discards research questions posed by the Discards Think Tank.

People Involved

Marloes Kraan

Case study coordinator

  • A social scientist, Marloes is a researcher at the Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies (IMARES).
  • Marloes is interested in making fisheries research more trans-disciplinary, interactive governance in fisheries and making social science more useful  to fisheries policy.
  • To find out more, visit
  • Email:

Josien Steenbergen

Case Study Researcher

  • Holding an MSc in Fisheries Biology, Josien’s interests range from discard monitoring to exploring innovative ways of working with industry.
  • Josien is a science Officer at the European Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Organisation and a project leader of cooperation projects at IMARES, Wageningen University.
  • Project leader cooperation projects
  • Email:

Dr Paula den Hartog

Case Study Partner Organisation

  • Head of Fisheries and Trade at the Dutch Fish Product Board
  • Holding a PhD in in Behavioural Ecology, Paula is passionate about stakeholder involvement in fisheries management.

Stakeholder Participants


The optimal process of self-sampling in fisheries -lessons learned from the NetherlandsPresentation given by Marloes Kraan, Josien Steenbergen, Edwin van Helmond on 9th May 2012 at the World Fisheries Congress

Josien Steenbergen, “Collaborative Discard Sampling in the Dutch Flatfish Fisheries”

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