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Norway leads calls for EU ban on fish discards | Environment | The Guardian

Giving up the wasteful practice of discarding edible fish at sea is not only possible, but can result in greater profits for fishermen, according to the fisheries minister in Norway, which has banned the practice.

Up to two-thirds of the fish caught in some European waters are thrown back dead because of the way the EU's common fisheries policy works. Proposals to end the waste have faced opposition from fishing groups and some EU member states, several of which attempted to scupper the ban at a meeting in Brussels on Monday. In the end, the attempt to block a ban on discards did not materialise, in part because of strong opposition from the public and high-profile campaigns such as FishFight initiative spearheaded by the TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. But the issue will be discussed by European legislators several times this year before going to a final vote.

It is 25 years since Norway introduced a ban on discards amid the steady decline of the Arctic cod. As a result, stocks of the species have recovered.

The experiences of Norway, which is outside the EU, should be taken as an example to member states, says the country's fisheries minister. Lisbeth Berg-Hansen. She told the Guardian: "I hope the rest of Europe will see this ban can be possible. Fishermen saw it as difficult at first but they have seen the quick results of this ban - the quota got bigger year by year."

by Nomad on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 05:34:35 PM EST
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