Fish Fight win battle on discards
Following a campaign by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, European fishermen may be banned from discarding a million ton of fish overboard every year.
EU fisheries minister Maria Damanaki is set to unveil a proposal to ban the practice known as ‘discards’.
Under Europe’s landing quota system, the fishermen are required to throw back any fish that are too young, overfished or for which they have no quota.
The quota system is deisgned to protect species but in practice half of all the fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back dead as the fishermen are afraid of exceeding their quotas.
Officials are bowing to pressure to reform the system after more than 650,000 people signed a petition calling for the ‘discards’ to be banned following Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight series on Channel 4.
The campaign has also won the backing from celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Jamie Oliver. Jeremy Paxman wrote: “If this is conservation then I’m the Mad Hatter.”
Damanaki’s proposal suggests that all the catches should be landed and then counted against the quota.
photocredit thanks to FreeCat on Flickr
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