EU Fisheries Ministers are meeting in Brussels today to try and agree on a plan to eliminate the controversial discard practice.
Fish are returned to the sea because the catch either exceeds the quota or the
species are not part of a trawler’s allowable take.
The European Commission estimates that almost a quarter of all fish caught by EU vessels are thrown back into the sea.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, who will chair the meeting, said he wants both an ambitious and early date for the introduction of a ban, but added that was under no illusion about how difficult that would be to achieve.
The UN says the northeast Atlantic has the highest discard level in the world, estimated at 1.3 million tonnes.