Raining Fish: Let’s End the Waste


People go about their daily life in the bustling city; then the fish start falling. First one by one, then a deluge – a busker, a policemen, customers queuing for hotdogs are whacked by fish falling from the sky. What is going on?

Each year, around 1.7 million tonnes of fish are dumped back into EU seas dead or dying. Call for an end to this waste.

Take Action now!

Some commercial fishing in the seas around Europe is indiscriminate and highly wasteful, resulting in the waste of tens of millions of fish. The most recent official estimate put the waste of unwanted fish and marine life in EU fisheries at an incredible 1.7 million tonnes every year! [1]

This widespread destruction means that large numbers of juvenile fish are caught before they even have had time to breed, while low-value or unwanted fish – often vulnerable species – are also thrown back, mostly dead or dying.

In 2013, the EU introduced its discard ban (also known as the Landing Obligation) as part of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, in order to stop this unnecessary waste of fish and to stimulate the use of more selective fishing methods. This new law requires almost all catches to be fully documented and counted against catch limits , then brought ashore. The ban is being phased in between 2015 and January 2019.

However, reports suggest discarding is still continuing, fishing selectivity is not being significantly improved, catch data used for science and management is becoming less reliable, and governments are refusing to increase at-sea monitoring to ensure the new laws are respected. [2]

The promise to end overfishing is not only slipping through our fingers; the situation may be worsening.  But we can do something about it. Let’s end overfishing togethersend a message to EU fisheries ministers now.



[1] COM (2011), Commission Staff Working Paper Impact Assessment accompanying the document Commission proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Common Fisheries Policy [repealing Regulation (EC) N° 2371/2002].

[2] Our Fish (2018), Illegal Baltic cod discards are wasting fisheries, communities & the environment.