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Weekly Overview: MEP's Decide to Delay Sanctions on Fish Discard Ban

Crustaceans Sustainability Economics +3 more

ANALYSIS - In this week's news, A new law passed by the EU Parliament means that fishermen will have two years to adapt to the fish discard ruling before sanctions for failing to comply take effect.

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The draft law, already informally agreed by MEPs and ministers, amends the “omnibus” regulation on arrangements for enforcing the ban.

"The new rules oblige fishermen to land all fish caught during a fishing trip. It will be extremely difficult to implement, especially for multi-species and artisanal fisheries. Our common concern is to preserve fisheries resources while maintaining a viable economy. The agreement we have found helps mitigate some of the negative effects of the new rules for fishermen," said rapporteur and Fisheries Committee chair Alain Cadec (EPP, FR).

Other key changes to the original proposal included the requirement for an annual draft report on the discard ban from the European Commission (EC), the removal of a requirement to stow undersized fish separately by species and for small fishermen, the obligation to record the catches in a fishing logbook was limited to catches of a species in excess of 50 kg.

The efforts of EU fishermen towards the better and more sustainable management of fisheries has been praised in new data from the EC.

Eighteen times as many commercial species are now fished at safe biological limits compared to twelve years ago.

Fisheries organisation Europêche said that there has been a major improvement in most commercial fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic over the last decade.

The new data shows 36 stocks are now fished at Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels - a key indicator of the sustainability of a particular fishery. This is compared to 27 fisheries at MSY in 2014 and just two in 2003.

Javier Garat, President of Europêche said: “These figures are testament to the hard work of fishermen across Europe who have shown real determination to fish in a more responsible and sustainable manner."

In aquaculture news this week, a third Indian shrimp group, Avanti Feeds Limited, has been awarded four-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) status from the Global Aquaculture Alliance.