Fishing discards ban

Waveney MP Peter Aldous yesterday asked the Government for further details about the introduction of the ban on fishing discards and called for additional measures to be implemented alongside the discards ban, with full regard being had to the interests of the inshore fleet.
 
In Oral Questions to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Peter asked when a ban on fishing discards will come into force.
 
Fishing Minister, George Eustice MP responded by affirming that all discards will be banned by the beginning of 2016 and gave his assurances that the Government was working with the fishing industry to establish how best to effect its implementation.
 
Peter proceeded to ask the Government to give full consideration to the interests of the inshore fleet, such as those who fish out of Lowestoft, and urged for a range of measures to be introduced alongside the discard ban in order to ensure the sustainable management of fish stocks.
 
The Minister gave his assurances that the discard ban would be one of a range of other radical measures, including a legally binding commitment to fish sustainably and regional decision making.
 
Peter commented:
 
“The recently agreed CFP reforms present an opportunity to provide local fishermen with a viable future, as well as to secure healthy and sustainable fishing stocks.
 
“I am pleased that the Minister has confirmed the timescale for a ban on discards and that the Government has introduced a legally binding commitment to sustainable fishing and the local management of fisheries. It is essential that fishermen, scientists and government to work together to ensure that these measures prove successful in supporting fishermen and boosting the local economy.
 
“It is also important that Lowestoft fishermen are able to catch sufficient fish to run viable businesses. There is an urgent need for a fair share of quota to be allocated to the inshore fleet, which includes most of those boats that fish off the East Anglian coast.”
 
FULL TEXT:
 
Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): When the ban on fishing discards will come into force. [901170]
 
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (George Eustice): The UK secured a landing obligation as part of the agreement on reform of the common fisheries policy this summer. The final agreement includes a phased timetable, with a landing obligation in pelagic fisheries coming into force in January 2015 and a landing obligation in other fisheries beginning in 2016. Preparatory work has begun and we are talking to the fishing industry and other stakeholders about how we can best implement those changes in practice.
 
Peter Aldous: I am grateful to the Minister for that answer. Recent research has shown that a ban on discarding alone will not lead to sustainable management of the nation’s fish stocks. Will the Minister confirm that the Government will introduce a range of measures alongside the discard ban, and that full regard will be given to the interests of the inshore fleet, such as those who fish out of Lowestoft in my constituency?
 
George Eustice: I confirm that there will be a range of other measures. We have never claimed that a discard ban alone would work, and there are three parts to the reform. The discard ban was one part, and we also introduced regional decision making for the first time. Finally—and most importantly—there is now a legally binding commitment to fish sustainably. Taken together, those measures represent a radical reform of the common fisheries policy, and that is a tribute to my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Richard Benyon), who led the charge on those reforms.
 

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