EU bans "scandalous" fish discards
- Food and drink ,
- Agriculture ,
- Ecosystems ,
- Biodiversity ,
- Natural resources
Dead fish will no longer be allowed to be dumped back into the sea from European fishing vessels under agreed reforms to the EU's common fisheries policy
Representatives from European governments have agreed to ban the discarding of unwanted dead fish that result in one-quarter of catches being thrown overboard and wasted.
Reforms to the CFP phase in bans on discarding edible fish between 2014 and 2019. The first ban will prevent stocks of pelagic fish, such as herring and whiting, being discarded from January 2014. A ban on discarding white fish, such as cod and haddock, will begin in January 2016.
The outcome of the negotiations has been hailed as a victory in the UK, which led discussions on a ban.
“This is a historic moment in reforming the broken common fisheries policy. The scandal of discards has gone on for too long,” said UK fisheries minister Richard Benyon, who helped to broker the reforms.
Scotland’s fisheries minister Richard Lochhead said the agreement would end a “30-year scandal”.
“No longer will European fishermen be dumping millions of tonnes of fish overboard, which is a waste of a valuable food resource to the detriment of our stocks and the industry,” he said.
“It has been a long hard road to achieve agreement. And the negotiation was dominated by attempts of some nations to exempt certain stocks by adding in specific loopholes. We all need work together to ensure smooth implementation.”
Meanwhile, Benyon acknowledged that compromises had been necessary to ensure that the dumping of dead fish is outlawed in many cases.
“I am disappointed that some of the measures required to put this ban into place are no longer as ambitious as I had hoped,” he said, “but it’s a price I am willing to accept if it means we can get the other details right.
“The final package is another step in the right direction and will prove to be good for both the fishing industry and the marine environment.”
EU figures reveal that three out of four European fish stocks are currently overfished: 82% of Mediterranean stocks and 63% of Atlantic stocks.
The reforms to the CFP will now go before the European parliament for approval.
Demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025 if all national net-zero pledges are implemented in full and on time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.
The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.
COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.
Half of the world's 40 largest listed oil and gas companies will have to slash their production by at least 50% by the 2030s to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, new analysis has found.
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.