EU Ministers Agree Fish Discard Deal PDF Print E-mail

European politicians have agreed a commitment to ban the discarding of dead fish after a compromise was put forward by Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney was accepted.

After 24 hours of tense negotiations, the EU fisheries council agreed there should be a ban on discards but no date was set and it is subject to more negotiations.

Provisional dates published by the council would see a ban on discards of mackerel and herring by January 1st 2014.

A ban on discards in cod, haddock, plaice and sole would begin on a phased basis starting 12 months later and would be fully in place by January 1st 2018.

Discards are mandatory under the current EU Common Fisheries Policy, due to restrictions on quotas and minimum sizes of fish which vessels can catch.

Some 38 per cent of commercial Irish whitefish catches have to be thrown overboard under EU rules.

However, Irish vessels take only 15 per cent of all fish caught in Irish waters, with 85 per cent taken by French, Spanish, Portuguese, Belgian, British and other vessels.