Fisheries ministers on Monday met in Brussels to discuss a make or break EU ban on fish discards. Activists and many member states want European boats to stop throwing back into the sea dead fish that are edible, but less profitable. Strict EU quotas on the amount of fish a boat may land force fisherman to discard less valuable species.
But countries such as Spain or France strongly oppose the idea. They have called the proposal “unrealistic” and “too prescriptive”. Spain owns the biggest fleet in Europe and receives the highest amount of EU fishing money.
Around 2/3 of healthy fish are returned to the sea dead. Only in the North sea, at least a million tonnes of fish are wasted every year.
Ministers will also draft rules to prevent European boats from overfishing in foreign waters as Brussels wants to give propriety access to the local fishermen.