Breakthrough on fish discards hailed13/06/2012 - 10:47:04
A commitment by European politicians to ban the discarding of dead fish has been welcomed.
At a meeting of the EU Fisheries Council in Luxembourg, involving more than 20 hours of negotiations and finishing at 5am this morning, EU Fisheries Ministers agreed their position on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
The Council agreed there should be a ban on discards but no date was set and it is subject to more negotiations.
Provisional dates published by the Council would see a ban on discards in the Pelagic fisheries (such as mackerel and herring) by January, 1 2014 and a ban on discards in Whitefish fisheries (cod, haddock, plaice, sole) on a phased basis starting 12 months later and fully in place by January 1, 2018.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney welcomed the breakthrough, which he said would "support a more secure future for our fishermen".
"I have worked with our industry at home and with my EU Ministerial colleagues to deliver a progressive and phased approach to ending this unacceptable practice of discarding dead fish," he said.
"At the same time, the agreement protects the interests of fishermen while promoting a more sustainable approach to managing fish stocks.”
"I hope that this new agreement will be welcomed by both the industry and those campaigning for sustainable management of fish stocks," he added.
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