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EU Ministers Meet over Fish Discards


19/03/12

Under current European Fisheries Policy, trawlers that catch too much of a certain fish are forced to discard them. Campaigners believe that as much as two thirds of all fish caught in the EU is put back into the water.

 

Maria Damanaki, the EU fisheries commisionner, has backed plans to ban the practice of discarding, something which is being decided on today: under plans to reform the Common Fisheries Policy, fishermen would have to land all the fish they catch in return for compensation.

 

However France and Spain are spearheading a move to block the ban saying it is unworkable. A joint letter declared that the proposed discard ban was "unrealistic and too prescriptive", and that a "pragmatic approach" was needed, especially in the context of mixed fisheries.

The Irish government is also understood not to want an outright ban on discards because stocks tend to be mixed in Irish waters. However, fisheries minister Simon Coveney declares to want "real progress" on the issue.

 

Meanwhile, the Fishfigh campaign, led by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and supported by Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver - is increasing it's pressure on European Ministers as they meet to decide whether to accept or reject the ban on fishing discards.

In a clever move the campaign is now listing all the European ministers twitter names allowing people to send messages supporting the ban directly to them. Many believe that large fishing companies are against the ban as it can often be more profitable to discard smaller fish and instead wait for larger more expensive catches.

 

The meeting, which takes place at 15:00 CET , will be streamed live on the European Union website and we'll keep you posted on all the news as it breaks.

 

Sources:

RTE News, Ireland

The Fish Fight website

 

 

 

 



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