Decision to end discarding of dead fish caught at sea 'deeply disappointing'

Decision to end discarding of dead fish caught at sea 'deeply disappointing'

Irish campaigners are accusing EU fisheries ministers of being "blind" to the "destruction caused by 30 years of overfishing".

However, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has described some of the commentary on EU negotiations on fish quotas as "misinformed".

The annual AGRIFISH December Council meeting closed this morning in Brussels.

Minister Creed told RTE’s Morning Ireland that some commentators would appear to prefer to see “rusting fishing trawlers tied up in ports.”

The proposed cuts are — 50% cod, 14% haddock, 32% prawns and 20% mackerel.

None of the concessions agreed was outside scientific advice, he added.

However, the policy officer of Bird Watch Ireland, Fintan Kelly claimed that the scientists involved were paid by the EU to “supply information to the questions asked.”

Mr Kelly said that the deadline to end overfishing in 2020 is being ignored. It has been known for five years, but no efforts had been made to introduce measures progressively or incrementally.

He also expressed concern about a new measure to end the discarding of dead fish. This will mean that all fish caught at sea will have to be landed and processed irrespective of size.

Traditionally smaller fish have been discarded at sea. “This is a deeply disappointing result,” said Mr Kelly.

“Juvenile fish will be processed into fish meal for use in agriculture. It is not entirely clear the impact this is going to have.”

Mr Kelly also expressed concern that monitoring and control levels will not be maintained.

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