Alternative discards proposal launched

19 Sep 2012
EAPO, Europêche and Cogeca have launched a new proposal to address the issue of discards. © Henry Wolcott 2005/Marine Photobank

EAPO, Europêche and Cogeca have launched a new proposal to address the issue of discards. © Henry Wolcott 2005/Marine Photobank

European fishing industry organisations, EAPO, Europêche and Cogeca, have launched a new and innovative proposal to address the issue of discards in an effective and workable manner.

They believe that the proposals from the European Commission and the Council of Fisheries Ministers are unworkable and ineffective, so have united to come up with their own.

In a joint statement, the president of EAPO, Sean O Donoghue, the president of Europêche, Javier Garat and the chairman of the FISH Working Party of Copa-Cogeca, Giampaolo Buonfiglio said: “The fishing industry is fully in agreement that discarding fish is an unacceptable waste of natural resources that must be addressed. We are however convinced that the simplistic and populist approach of a total ban on discards will not work and that a rational approach to the discards issue is required that puts discards measures in an operational and managerial context of fisheries and fisheries management.”

They say that the alternative approach that they have proposed addresses the complex and multi-faceted issue of discards in a meaningful and effective fashion.

A key difference between this industry proposal and Commission’s and Council’s proposals is that the obligation to land all catches is used in a targeted way for stocks in danger, while at the same time an ambitious and verifiable objective of discards reduction will be applied for all fisheries and stocks, rather than the introduction of a total discards ban at the start, as envisaged by the Commission and Council.

“We are of the firm belief that this detailed industry proposal if adopted will be effective to solve the discards issue on a fishery by fishery basis and will ultimately lead to greater stock sustainability,” they said.

The three key components of the new proposal are: an obligation to land all catches for stocks in danger; an obligation to reduce discards on other named fisheries; and an obligation to produce discards atlases on a fishery by fishery basis covering the fisheries in the points mentioned above.

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