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A group of European Union member states are planning to thwart key reforms aimed at conserving dwindling fish stocks.

The prospects of banning the wasteful practice of discarding edible fish at sea may be extinguished within the next few days, as a group of European Union member states are planning to thwart key reforms aimed at conserving dwindling fish stocks.

Campaigners, including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, have been calling for a ban on discards — the practice by which as many as two thirds of healthy fish caught by fleets are thrown back into the sea, dead — for more than a year. In his series, Hugh’s Fish Fight, he pointed out that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back overboard. He called moves to block the proposed ban “worrying in the extreme.”

A change to European common fisheries policy to ban discards looked likely as the call had been taken up by the EU fisheries chief, Maria Damanaki. Her reforms would mean that fishermen would forced to land all fish they catch, receiving some compensation.

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