Fewer EU overfishing penalties this year, cod discard trials show promise

13 August 2014

Ten EU states will have their fishing quotas reduced this year, but the number of deductions has fallen by 22% compared to 2012.

Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Ireland, Portugal and the UK all exceeded their allowances in 2013 and will be subject to restrictions as part of the European Commission's annual attempt to repair damage done to overfished resources.

Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "I'm glad to see that we did a better job in 2013 than in previous years when it comes to staying within quotas. That said, to achieve healthy fish stocks across Europe we also need efficient controls to enforce the rules in place."

This follows successful North Sea catch quota trials conducted by the Marine Management Organisation in 2013 that showed it was possible to fish for cod with a discard rate of just 1%.

The findings of the trial are being used by Defra (the UK Government's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) to reform the Common Fisheries Policy.

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