UK Fisheries Minister George Eustice announced more actions to boost sustainable fishing, with the entry into force of the next phase of the discard ban for demersal species. This landing obligation requires fishermen to unload everything they catch, and will help to put an end to the wasteful practice of throwing dead fish back overboard.
The measure is being gradually introduced to allow the sector time to adjust to changes. Now, two species – North Sea cod and North Western Waters pollack – have been added to the list of fish that must be landed.
Existing bans for species such as sole, plaice and haddock have also been extended to include more vessels.
”Fishing sustainably is one of our biggest priorities, both now and for the future, and the discard ban is an incredibly important step to help us reach maximum sustainable yield by 2020,” the minister explained.
Eustice also stressed that ending the pointless practice of throwing dead fish back overboard will not only help to maintain stock levels, but also to create a profitable fishing industry for years to come.
This discard ban follows the successful implementation of the ban to pelagic species such as mackerel and blue whiting in 2015, and the extension to demersal species haddock, sole and plaice at the start of 2016.
The restriction measure plays a crucial role in helping the UK achieve sustainable fishing levels by 2020. In order to help small scale fishermen adapt and operate under the discard ban, the UK Government secured extra quota for new landing obligation species at the recent EU Ag and Fish Council.
The first 100 tons of additional quota, and 10% on the top of that, will be passed to the inshore fisheries, supporting the Government’s commitment to delivering for smaller fishing vessels. (FIS)