Published on November 15th, 2017 by Pan European Networks: Report: Baltic fish disposal is illegal

A report published today (15 November) on the discarding of Baltic fish reveals that compliance with the reformed Common Fisheries Policy’s Landing Obligation is almost non-existent in the Baltic Sea.

The report, exposing the European seafood supply chain to unprecedented levels of illegal behaviour, also urges EU member states to immediately act on the implementation of proven monitoring and enforcement programmes in order to end illegal and wasteful discarding.

The report, titled Thrown Away: How Illegal Discarding in the Baltic Sea is Failing EU Fisheries and Citizens, published by campaign group Our Fish, finds EU government responses to the Landing Obligation have in some cases made discarding worse, while clear advice on effective tools to monitor and control the law is being ignored.

This situation is failing the almost 900,000 EU citizens who actively supported a ban on discards during the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

Our Fish programme director Rebecca Hubbard said: “EU citizens expect national governments and EU authorities to uphold the laws they have signed up to – yet fisheries ministers are not keeping their end of the bargain.

“By failing to properly implement the discard ban in the Baltic Sea, EU governments are jeopardising the sustainability of fish stocks, undermining scientific advice, and perpetuating a waste of valuable resources. Not only does this limit the economic prosperity of the fishing industry, it exposes the EU seafood supply chain to unprecedented levels of illegal behaviour.”

In 2018 and 2019, these illegal discard figures are set for another dramatic increase if monitoring and enforcement do not improve, the report adds.

90% of undersized Baltic cod is still being discarded – in 2016 alone, some 11.5 million Baltic Sea cod were discarded illegally.

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