Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Changes In The European Fisheries Policy

Let's hope the politicians in the European Union get it right - though I'm not holding my breath as too many countries have too much self interest for anything decent to come out of the review. However, we can hope they manage to get "discarding" stopped. This is where fish that is not allowed in the fisherman's allowance are thrown overboard although the fish are already dead. At least the seagulls get a good meal out of it!

I am no politician and don't admit to knowing a great deal about fishing in European waters, but I do know something needs to be done to save fish stocks. I am aware that fisherman are allowed an allocation of an amount of fish they are allowed to bring back. For example, a fisherman is allowed to catch one metric tonne of cod, with each fish having to be of a minimum size. Anything that is too small or is not cod has to be thrown back into the sea. A suggestion I read recently is to allow fisherman to bring back all that they catch. So if their cod allocation is one metric tonne and they bring up a tonne of fish, though not all cod, then they are allowed to bring everything back and are permitted to sell it. Although this is very simplistic at least they can work a policy around this.

If you want more information you can go to the European Fisheries website at

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