An Taisce welcomes deal on fish discards but calls on countries to match ambition of the European Parliament

27th February 2013
Press Release

An Taisce welcomes the agreement reached last night by Minister Coveney and other EU Fisheries Ministers to tackle the scandal of discards, which is the current practice of dumping over quota or non quota catches, but notes with disappointment that the agreement fails to match the ambition of the reforms proposed by the European Parliament on 6 February, with an overwhelming democratic mandate of 502 to 137 votes. As Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, one of the leading campaigners for a more sustainable EU fisheries policy noted, “What they agreed last night is weaker and harder to enforce than the ban our MEPs in the European Parliament voted for, with a huge majority, three weeks ago.”

Resistance to an ambitious deal is said to have come mainly from France, Portugal and Spain, which won some concessions, including the continuing ability to discard 7-9% of catches in certain circumstances. The deal on discards, insofar as it goes, is proposed to be phased in over four years. Andrew Jackson, Natural Environment Officer of An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland said “We urge Minister Coveney to continue the fight and push in the coming weeks to ensure that the EU’s Member States match the European Parliament’s ambition to end overfishing and restore fish stocks.”

ENDS

For further information, please call:

Charles Stanley-Smith, An Taisce Communications – Tel: 087 2411995

Andrew Jackson, An Taisce's Natural Environment Office – Tel: 01 7077063

Email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland