Fabian Demicoli

Agreement to end fish discards


European press reports that fisheries
ministers have agreed to an EU-wide ban on fish discards, starting in January
2014. BBC News says that the ban on the
controversial practice of dumping unwanted fish was agreed following an all
night meeting in Brussels. Although ministers agreed some exemptions, it
remains to be seen whether the European parliament will accept them, the broadcaster
says.

The Irish Independent, which
described the ban as a landmark agreement, said that the biggest opposition to
the fisheries reforms came from France, Portugal and Spain.

According to the Irish Times, Irish
fisheries minister Simon Coveney, who chaired the all night meeting, said that
the negotiations were "difficult".

However, he added that member states
shared the collective view that there should be an "obligation to
land" all caught fish, the paper says.

The Guardian reports that Socialist MEP
Ulrike Rodust said, "EU fisheries ministers should remember that a wide
majority has voted for a discard ban without any exemptions. "I think it
will be difficult to accept a text which would allow throwing back certain
species of unwanted fish overboard without any limitations at all."

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