At a meeting of Fisheries Ministers and Members of the European Parliament, Ministers from Denmark, France, Germany and the UK all gave their support to Commissioner Maria Damanaki’s call for a ban on discards.

At a meeting of Fisheries Ministers and Members of the European Parliament, Ministers from Denmark, France, Germany and the UK all gave their support to Commissioner Maria Damanaki’s call for a ban on discards.

In a joint declaration, the four Member States called for a system of “genuine catch quotas”, where all landed fish would be counted against quotas.

Not all Member States agree with this position. For instance, Spain would prefer to see an effort management system based on the number of 'days at sea'.

In advance of the meeting, Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat sent a letter to all EU Fisheries Ministers and other key stakeholders, supporting the Commission push for a ban on discards but also reminding the Ministers to address the root of the problem by avoiding unwanted catches in the first place.

This can be achieved by measures including the requirement of the most selective gear and real-time closures. A system purely based on effort management will not effectively address the problem of discards, since an effort-based regime provides strong incentives to increase the catch per unit effort, whereas technical measures to reduce by-catch generally reduce the catch per unit effort.

For the letter by Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat and more information on the meeting

The Commission is organizing a meeting on 3 May 2011 to consult stakeholders on the practise of discarding. For more information

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