Further action to boost sustainable fishing begins as the next phase of the discard ban for demersal species comes into force, announced Fisheries Minister George Eustice.
The discard ban, also known as the landing obligation, requires fishermen to land everything they catch and will help bring an end to the wasteful practice of throwing dead fish back overboard.
It has been gradually introduced to allow time to adapt and today two species – North Sea cod and North Western Waters pollack – have joined the list of fish that must be landed. Existing bans for species such as sole, plaice and haddock have also been extended to include more vessels.
Commenting on the next phase of the discard ban, Fisheries Minister George Eustice said:
Fishing sustainably is one of our biggest priorities, both now and for the future, and the discard ban is an incredibly important step to help us reach maximum sustainable yield by 2020.
While there will always be challenges in adapting to new polices, ending the wasteful practice of throwing dead fish back overboard will not only help maintain stock levels, but will help create a profitable fishing industry for years to come.
The latest phase of the discard ban follows the successful implementation of the ban to pelagic species such as mackerel and blue whiting in 2015, and the extension to demersal species haddock, sole and plaice at the start of 2016.
The discard ban plays a crucial role in helping the UK achieve sustainable fishing levels by 2020.
To help small scale fishermen adapt and operate under the discard ban, the UK Government secured extra quota for new landing obligation species at the recent EU Ag and Fish Council.
The first 100 tonnes of additional quota, and 10% on the top of that, will be passed to the inshore fisheries, supporting the Government’s commitment to delivering for smaller fishing vessels