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INSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable Fish

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Commissioner Damanaki debates with fishing industry the future of discards

Press release - 3/5/2011

Today, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki is meeting representatives of the fishing industry and other stakeholders to discuss what can be done to stop discarding of fish. Discarding is the practice of throwing back unwanted fish to the sea.

While finalising its proposals for a reformed Common Fisheries Policy, the Commissioner is also reflecting on how to eliminate discards. Last March, the Member States and the European Parliament had exchanged views on this issue at a High-Level Conference. It is now the stakeholders' turn, and Commissioner Damanaki is ready to listen to their opinion.

With the upcoming reform, the Commission has the chance to provide a new legal framework, removing all compulsory discarding and establishing clear objectives and time limits for a gradual phasing out of unwanted catches. The fishing industry, on the other hand, can contribute by devising ways to simply not catch the fish they don't want - the golden rule being that all fish that is not going to be sold or that is over the limits should remain in the water, alive.

Two initiatives recently taken by European fishermen to reduce discards are going to be presented at the conference, after a short opening speech by the Commissioner. A debate will follow. Fishing industry representatives, scientists, researchers, environmental organisations, NGOs and the press are invited to contribute. The meeting starts at 14h30 at the Commission's Conference Centre Albert Borshette, Brussels. It will be webstreamed at:

http://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/news_and_events/events/030511/index_en.htm