Fish discard ban catastrophe headed off by Conservatives

11-Dec-2015 @ 16:0

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Amjad Bashir Amjad Bashir

Amjad Bashir Amjad Bashir

Following Conservative pressure, the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee has reversed its decision of yesterday which would have introduced the discard ban for North Sea cod a year early.

Conservative Fisheries spokesman Ian Duncan urged fellow committee members to revisit the issue as a matter of urgency after warning the move could have a "seismic" effect on British fishermen.

The result of yesterday’s vote would have meant that North Sea fishermen had only three weeks' notice to prepare for the application of the discard ban to all species, including cod, from 1 January 2016. The European political groups of the SNP (the Green/EFA) and UKIP (the EFDD) voted for the proposal.

Mr Duncan, who is attending the COP21 Climate Change talks in Paris, said: "I welcome the intervention of my colleague Peter van Dalen MEP who was instrumental in ensuring the U-Turn by the Fisheries Committee. As a result of us applying pressure on the Committee, the discard ban will again be phased in as was originally planned, applying to cod from 1 January 2017."

"Those who sit on the Fisheries Committee must pay greater heed to the implications of their actions. Had my colleagues not been able to reverse this decision, it would have been a bleak Christmas for many. Lessons must be learned from this debacle"


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