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Friday, 04 March 2011

EU Discusses Fishing Quotas

Europe's fishing quotas are designed to protect European waters from over-fishing. They are imperfect instruments, however, and one of their unintended consequences is that they often force fishermen to dump huge amounts of dead, excess fish back into the ocean. On Tuesday, fishery ministers from EU states met to discuss how to end this practice. EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki told ministers that they should phase in a total ban on dumping. Currently, about 1 million metric tonnes of fish are estimated to be thrown back each year into the North Sea alone. That, Damanaki told The Guardian before the meeting, amounts to a "nightmare of discards." But when it comes to Europe's Common Fisheries Policy, nothing comes without controversy. And while most fishermen hate having to throw back dead fish because they either exceed their quotas or are the wrong species, fishermen in some parts of Europe fear that a total ban on dumping will damage their livelihood--by, perhaps, limiting their catches even further, or their time spent at sea.

Source: time.com