Cod, pollock now included in EU discard ban
The latest stage of the landing obligation, or “discard ban,” took effect on New Year’s Day, confirmed U.K. Fisheries Minister George Eustice, with the country’s fishermen now required to land cod and pollock.
U.K. government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said the discard ban has gradually introduced to allow time to adapt and that two species – North Sea cod and northwestern waters pollock – had joined the list of fish that must be landed. Existing bans for species such as sole, plaice and haddock have also been extended to include more vessels.
“Fishing sustainably is one of our biggest priorities, both now and for the future, and the discard ban is an incredibly important step to help us reach maximum sustainable yield by 2020,” said Eustice. “While there will always be challenges in adapting to new polices, ending the wasteful practice of throwing dead fish back overboard will not only help maintain stock levels, but will help create a profitable fishing industry for years to come."
The latest phase of the landing obligation follows the implementation of the ban to pelagic species such as mackerel and blue whiting in 2015, and the extension to demersal species haddock, sole and plaice at the start of 2016.
To help small-scale fishermen adapt and operate under the discard ban, the U.K. government secured extra quota for new landing obligation species at the recent EU Agriculture and Fish Council.
The first 100 metric tons (MT) of additional quota, and 10 percent on top of that, will be passed to the inshore fisheries, supporting the government’s commitment to delivering for smaller fishing vessels.