Waveney MP Peter Aldous today commented on a speech made by European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki on the discard of fish under EU rules.
Maria Damanaki was speaking at a high level meeting in Brussels on banning discards on 1st March. Currently, fishermenhave to throw away up to half of what they catch to stay within their quotas. Damanaki proposed instead to regulate fleets through limits on fishing time and greater use of measures such as CCTV. Plans should be finalised later this year with a discard ban as part of a reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in 2013.
Mr Aldous has been campaigning since elected in May 2010 to achieve a fairer deal for Lowestoft’s fishermen. In December 2010 he led a delegation of Lowestoft Fishermen to meet Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon at The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and has spoken regularly on the topic in the House of Commons.
Mr Aldous said:
“I am very pleased that European politicians are finally beginning to listen to our demands for change. This is a good step forward but we need to ensure that those people with the most knowledge about the industry are consulted to ensure the reforms are well considered and practical. But more immediately we need more fish to catch to ensure fishermen can make a living. I will continue to work with the Fisheries Minister in consultation with local fishermen in the hope this can be achieved and to ensure quality inputs to the CFP reform.”
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