Discard detractors back down

France, Spain, Malta and a number of small EU states planned to derail the proposed discard ban by presenting an alternative declaration to carry on throwing dead fish overboard and allowing high grading.

After an internet campaign organised by a television chef  Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, more than 130,000 Twitter and Facebook messages were sent to ministers urging them to oppose the draft declaration and France and Spain did not insist on a vote.

EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki’s plan is to phase out discards over four years by reforming the Common Fisheries Policy in a way that ultimately kills fewer fish.

Last night Fearnley-Whittingstall told supporters: “I’m coming back on the Eurostar and it’s been a satisfying day. Discard disaster has been averted as the French, Spanish, Portguese and Belgian revolution just didn’t happen. Maria Damanaki led from the front and seems to be building consensus among the ministers. Everyone agreed that the amazing Twitter and Facebook activity over the weekend made a real difference.”

Though this latest result is very supportive, no one believes it will be the last attempt by those countries to derail it.

Category: EU Government News

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