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New Video: Plenty More Fish in the Sea? Discards in the EU

28 Mar 2013

Every year in the EU, 1.7 million tonnes of fish are thrown back into the sea after being caught. This wasteful practice is widely criticised and negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament over the reform of the CFP are seeking to address the problem. This video explores the reasons for discards in the EU, their implications and the current efforts to end the practice.

This video forms part of The Environment Nexus – your digital ecosystem


This content forms part of the Environment Nexus project, which is co-financed bDG Communication of the European Parliament.


As an independent forum, the Institute does not express any opinions of its own. The views expressed in the article are the sole responsibility of the author.

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Andrew Craig says: 17 Apr 2014 17:22

Just been reading the Discard ban piece in this weeks Fishing News. Who do these EU idiots think there are talking to, patronising fishermen in such a way, saying the Ban will work, stop being so negative, are they not aware the only reason any discarding takes place for marketable fish is due to the CFP quotas being so out of sink with stocks, so its impossible not to catch them, are they not aware the UK will run out of Cod quota early in the year and wont be able to trade any extra in stopping boats going to sea, why will they not increase the quotas to cover the discards, as no more fish will be killed by landing than discarding. Obviously ALL people in and connected to this industry have known for decades EU and UK fisheries management, are a waste of tax payers money, due to being so painfully ignorant, but it has to be asked, just how stupid are the people governing the Fishing industry? Before any tree huggers reply to this saying, change the nets used, THAT CANNOT BE DONE.

Andrew Craig says: 01 Mar 2014 10:50

The way in which the discard ban will be implemented is unfortunately unworkable due to a number of factors. Firstly, the CAP have put great emphasis on modifying fishing gear, so not to catch unwanted or over quota species, this is OK to a degree, but when in many cases the same gear is used to catch, Cod, Haddock, Whiting, Pollock, Saithe and Coley as an example and nothing can be done to the gear, to prevent any one of those species being caught, this becomes an impossible situation. Also, for some reason the reforms have not taken into account, that a huge amount of extra marketable fish will be landed under these reforms, with no spare quota to cover it in the UK or from any other member state, hence boats being tied up from April when the quota starts running out for some species, as the reforms state, if a vessel cannot cover any one marketable species it is going to catch with quota, it cannot continue to fish. Make no mistake, this means an increase of at least 100% of all white fish landings just for the UK, even with all gear modifications possible and the skipper trying avoid catching the species he has no quota for. Regarding the data you mention, I should point out, this is considered to be very inaccurate information and of no importance to the industry, as it has been proven wrong on every occasion without exception, even the scientists accept this, as they do not have the local knowledge of a Fishermen, who totally rely on there experience as for, spring, neap, making or falling tides, wind directions and strength, moon phases and water temperatures, which are the be and end all in species movements, migrations and areas they can or cannot be caught in, and in which type of gear at any given time of year, so this data is only relied upon by those outside of the industry, as a best guess, the end results being, low quotas when stocks are healthy = discards, the proof of this is, if the quotas based on the science is in any way accurate, why are boats with a high percentage of Cod quota, dumping large marketable Cod from April, if there is not supposed to be any Cod there, this is exactly why the CFP has always been such a failure and created discards. I should also point out, that even though the Cod TAC for the North has been reduced by 20% this year, the Cod stocks for all year classes in all UK waters except west of Scotland, are now healthier than at any time in living memory, so the 20% TAC reduction = 20% more discarding, this is the problem we have always faced. I have contacted Maria Damanaki several times over the years regarding this, but she has never shown any interest for some reason.

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