Nick Harvey, MP for North Devon has joined the chorus of disapproval calling for an end to EU mandated fishing discards.
“The situation is crazy,” said Nick. “The very system that was put in place to safeguard fishing stocks actually causes needless waste. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight Campaign is rightly highlighting this issue. However you look at it, forcing fishermen to discard excess quotas and non-commercial species is little more than environmental vandalism.”
Even Defra recognises that the situation is wrong, in an official statement the department said: “Discarding is not good for the environment and is costly for fishermen. It is also seen as a destructive and wasteful practice. We are involved in discussions to ensure that new ways of reducing discards can be taken up at European Community level.”
Nick said: “I am currently lobbying Caroline Spellman, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs urging her to bring greater pressure on Brussels to review the situation in the run up to the reform of the Common Fisheries policy in 2012.”