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Mixed feelings on discard ban

28 Feb 2013

Javier Garat, president of Europêche and president of the Copa-Cogeca FISH WG, Giampaolo Buonfiglio have commented on yesterday’s agreement on the implementation of the discard ban and the possibility of bycatch quotas in the Council of the EU.

They said, “We take note of the important step that has been reached by the establishment of a gradual timetable for the progressive implementation of the discard ban and by the introduction of management tools to help the fishing industry to adapt to the obligation to land all catches.”

However, both presidents believe that there are still many outstanding issues to be resolved, particularly for the practical implementation of a discard ban across Europe and its consequences both onboard of vessels (storage capacity) and onshore (fish processing facilities).

Europêche and Cogeca also consider it essential to "minimise the socio-economic impact of a discard ban on fishing communities by accompanying targeted measures and investments which contribute to improve selectivity of fishing gears".

Both organisations hope that the discussions which will shortly begin, on the basis of the agreement of the Council of the EU, the first reading position of the European Parliament and the initial Commission proposal, will take into account the concerns expressed repeatedly by the European fisheries sector.