Dumping fish - Crazy quota system

Marine Minister Simon Coveney has announced that the controversial practice of dumping valuable fish overboard because of EU quotas will be phased out from 2015.

His statement is welcome, though people might well question why it cannot be done sooner.

No doubt the timing of the announcement was encouraged by last week’s demonstration at Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford. The owner of Saltees Quest decided to land and give away monkfish, rather than dump at sea because it exceeded its quota.

Mr Coveney said that he could not condone what happened at Kilmore Quay, but he acknowledged that the protest was positive in that it highlighted the immoral discard practice, which he depicted as a consequence of the failed and blunt EU quota policy.

It has been estimated that 38% of commercial Irish whitefish catches have to be thrown overboard because of the quota system. Drawing up the reforms should be completed during this country’s presidency of the EU in the first half of next year.

The changes are necessary, because the quota system is crazy and it is extravagantly wasteful.

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