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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Partial fish discard ban criticized

EU Fisheries Council’s agreement from February 26 on the fish discard ban is being criticized as being only partial. EU ministers have rejected a full ban for discarding catches back into the sea, and voted to allow it up to a 9% level. It was only Sweden which backed a complete ban.
The agreement will see the discarding of edible fish banned for stocks including herring and whiting from January 2014. A ban for white fish stocks was also agreed, to begin in January 2016.
It is the exemptions to the ban which are criticized by Brussels-based NGOs. Commenting on the Council outcomes, the WWF’s European Policy Office said that the Fisheries Ministers kept an unambitious position, as “strong demand to end overfishing and achieve fish stock recovery made by the European Parliament only few weeks ago has fallen on deaf ears”.
The vote comes after the MEPs backed overwhelmingly on 6 February the proposition to end over-fishing and restore EU sea stocks by 2020.

It is approximated that a quarter of all catches are discarded because they are not the fish intended to catch (due to quota restrictions in some cases).

Following this council, the Irish presidency will receive a mandate to commence the trialogue negotiations together with the European Parliament and Commission. Thus, the Parliament may still vote against the agreement reached at the Council.


Source: The Parliament, WWF