Commissioner launches discussion on discards

Tuesday May 4, commissioner Maria Damanaki met with stakeholders from the fishing industry, environmental NGOs and fishermen’s organisations to discuss what can be done to stop discarding of fish.

It needs to be acknowledged that many consumers think that the EU is moving too slow with a discards ban, Damanaki said. “Why do we need to acknowledge that? Because they are the ones who buy your products, because they are the market force and we cannot ignore them.”

At the meeting, some members of the fishing industry vehemently opposed the plans, while others suggested the proposals should be modified, reports the Guardian. According to the Guardian, one fisherman told the meeting: “The consequence of this will be a much, much smaller fleet.”

Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Group’s European Marine Programme and OCEAN2012 coordinator, issued a statement saying: “The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform is an excellent opportunity for the EU to establish new policies that will end overfishing, including the wasteful practice of discarding. Such policies should prevent unwanted fish from being caught in the first place and require everything to be landed in port, except for those species with a high chance of survival, such as threatened sharks and rays.”

Read more about the discards meeting:
Commissioner Damanaki’s speech
European Commissioner opens talks on discards (fis.com)
Essential steps towards tackling the EU Discarding problem (Ocean2012)
Fishermen give Brussels warning on discard rules (scotsman.com)
Fisheries industry attacks EU plan to end discards (Guardian)

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