Scandinavian countries agree to ban discards
The fisheries ministers of Norway, Sweden and Denmark late last week in Stockholm signed an agreement prohibiting the practice of discarding fish at sea in the waters of Skagerrak, the straight that runs between southeastern Norway, southwestern Sweden and the Jutland peninsula of Denmark.
The ban on discards in Skagerrak waters comes as the European Parliament debates whether outlaw discards as part of a reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which is slated to go into effect next year. A ban on discards is one of the CFP reform proposals European Union Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki submitted to Parliament in July.
Norwegian fisheries minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen called the ban on discards in Skagerrak “a milestone in our efforts to ensure sustainable management of our joint marine resources.”
“I hope this will also have a positive impact on other waters and that we are able to influence reforms in the right direction. We are now working on behalf of future fishermen and consumers of seafood,” she said. “We are seeing the issue of discards on the agenda both regionally and globally. In this context, Norway, Sweden and Denmark wish to be in the forefront by implementing a ban on discards in the waters of Skagerrak. While Skagerrak geographically speaking is a small ocean area, it is nevertheless important for those living around the coasts in the area and for fishermen from our three countries.”