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EU Rules Lead to Massive Discards of Cod

SCOTLAND, UK - SNP Westminster Fisheries spokesperson, Angus MacNeil MP, has hit out at 'absurd European rules' forced Scottish fishermen to throw away tens of millions of pounds worth of cod over the last year.

Mr MacNeil raised concerns over the economic and environmental damage caused by the dumping of fish after the UK Marine Minister revealed during a debate in the House of Commons that 23,600 tonnes of cod were discarded in the North Sea in 2007.


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"Norway has already acted to ban discards, and we must see what lessons can be learned."
SNP Westminster Fisheries spokesperson, Angus MacNeil MP

Mr MacNeil backed action by Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead, stressing the need for the EU to adopt policies which do not force fishermen to throw healthy, marketable fish back into the sea dead.

Mr MacNeil said:

"The dumping of marketable fish is a scandalous waste of a precious resource on a monumental scale. Absurd European rules mean that boats from across the continent are throwing almost a million tonnes of fish back into the North Sea every year.

"Scottish fishermen, already facing a challenging economic climate, are being forced to discard marketable fish worth up to £40 million. They are dispirited and demoralised; forced to go to work, use their skills and then destroy the fruits of their labour.

"Scottish consumers, already facing higher food prices, are being deprived of delicious, healthy fish from their own seas. And fisheries conservation is not being helped either.

"Scotland is taking a lead on this issue but we need Europe to help us find a way of radically reducing discards, and I am delighted that the Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead has made this a priority.

"Norway has already acted to ban discards, and we must see what lessons can be learned."

the Fish Site Editor

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