Mechanized dredging impact on discards was assessed along the northern Alboran Sea (W Mediterranean Sea). Data from 101 dredging operations were analysed for contrasting spatial and seasonal variability of damage, with the use of a three-level damage scale. 4.5% of discarded individuals displayed intermediate damage, whereas 11.3% displayed severe damage. Echinoderms displayed the highest level of damage (~75% of total collected individuals) and Echinocardium cf. mediterraneum was the most susceptible discarded species (85% with severe damage), followed by bivalves (7.3%) and crustaceans (3.3%). The target Chamelea gallina showed a low proportion of damaged individuals, probably due to their thick protective shell, which promotes the survival of discarded undersized target individuals. Spatial differences in damage level on discards were linked to some gear characteristics, to the higher amount of gravels and to longer tow durations, whereas damage was generally higher in cold months and partly related to higher quantities of hard shelled molluscs, in both cases increasing the abrasion and damage to retained organisms. Data suggest that dredges with a lower number of narrower iron teeth and towed for a shorter time could decrease the damage rate in discards of this fishery. A spatial management plan based on the type of grounds would be useful in order to improve efficiency of these fisheries and minimize their impact to soft bottoms with different commercial catches and biological communities.