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SFF welcomes discards progress

27 Feb 2013
The plan will start in 2014 and aims to phase out discards by 2019. Photo: Greenpeace

The plan will start in 2014 and aims to phase out discards by 2019. Photo: Greenpeace

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) has welcomed new measurements to prevent discards, agreed by EU fishing ministers in Brussels this week.

EU ministers agreed on a plan that will begin in 2014 which aims to phase out discards by 2019. The SFF says fishing ministers at the talks recognised the potential problems of implementing the scheme and have ensured that the scheme is introduced in a practical and sensible manner.

But, the SFF still remains cautious and says it is important to allow for flexibility in the plan to take into account any difficulties that fishermen may face in implementing a discards ban in complex mixed fisheries.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive, SFF, said: “We are pleased that a more realistic timescale for the implementation of a discards plan was agreed. It was also embedded into the agreement that a ban on discards will mean that fishermen can land more fish.”

He added: “Whilst this agreement is an important first step in ensuring the practical introduction of a discards ban, it should be recognised that huge challenges remain for the industry in its implementation that will require major changes in the way that fishermen operate. The Scottish industry has already made heavy sacrifices in working towards this.”

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The plan will start in 2014 and aims to phase out discards by 2019. Photo: Greenpeace

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