EU fisheries ministers have begun their annual marathon to negotiate quotas. This year’s focus is as much on wasted catch as allowable amounts. Ecologist advocacy group Oceana says it figures that 40-60 percent of all the fish caught at sea are systematically thrown back in because they aren’t the right size, or because fishermen don’t have the quota to keep them.
To let unintentionally-caught whitefish escape from nets, the European Commission has proposed technical rules that fishermen in western Scottish waters say will be particularly hard on them. Results from the talks in Brussels are expected to be announced later this Friday. While scientists recommend tightening policy against overfishing, coastal communities where many people depend on fishing are afraid it will wipe out jobs and silence their ports.