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O’Neill welcomes Fish Discards Agreement

Fisheries Minister Michelle O’Neill has welcomed the agreement to ban the wasteful practice of discarding unwanted fish, starting in January 2014 for certain types of fish.
Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Following the agreement that was reached in Brussels early this morning, the Minister said: “This is a major step in reforming the flawed Common Fisheries Policy. Dumping fish just because of rigid fishing rules is wrong and I am glad that this is coming to an end.

“Some concessions have had to be made to get this agreement but overall Europe is still on track to deliver more sustainable fishing practices that will benefit both the fishing industry and the marine environment.

“Locally we have made great strides in the last twelve months to adopt more selective fishing gear that lets unwanted fish escape alive, and we are well on our way to achieving proposed discard reduction targets.”

Notes to editors:

  1. In the early hours of Wednesday 27 February EU Fisheries Ministers agreed the Council of Ministers proposals for a ban on the discarding of unwanted fish.
  2. From now until June 2013 the Irish EU Presidency will work with the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament to agree a joint position on discarding and the other elements of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy.
  3. Unwanted fish are fish that are caught as an incidental by-catch for which a vessel has no quota, or fish for which there is no market, or fish that are below the legal minimum landing size.
  4. For media enquiries please contact DARD Press Office 028 9052 4619 or email: pressoffice.group@dardni.gov.uk Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.