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Lords seek clarification on extension of the discard ban from 2016

9 July 2015

On 16 June 2015 the European Union's Agriculture and Fisheries Council considered a Communication from the Commission on fishing opportunities for 2016 under the Common Fisheries Policy.

The consultation Communication sets out the general approach to be taken by the Commission in formulating its proposals for fishing opportunities, primarily Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and effort (days at sea) levels, for the EU fleet in 2016. The Communication's proposals will be presented to the Council of Ministers in October with a view to formal agreement to the programme by December 2015.

Among other things, the Communication discusses the gradual extension of the fisheries landing obligation (the "discard ban") from species such as herring and mackerel (pelagic species) to other species such as cod and haddock (demersal species) in European seas from January 2016.

Further to the Government's Explanatory Memorandum on the matter  which explained that changes need to be made to the current UK fisheries management regime in five key areas of fisheries management: phasing; quota management; regionalisation; on shore management and monitoring and enforcement, the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Energy and Environment wrote to the Government seeking clarification on several points of policy:

  • how the regionalisation process is being carried out here in the  in the UK to avoid disproportionate costs relating to the extension of the discard ban;
  • what other support is being made available to fisheries which may be disproportionately affected by the demersal landing obligation (DLO); and
  • the timing for the publication and the setting of TACs for DLO species in mixed fisheries.

A response is due in 10 working days.

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