After marathon talks, EU ministers have agreed to ban the controversial practice of fish dumping. Starting from January 2014 fishing vessels will be forced to reduce the amount they throw overboard.
The decision ends the policy whereby almost a quarter of fish caught get thrown overboard as they are too small, damaged or simply over quota leading to depleted stocks. In Brussels, the decision was hailed as historic.
Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said that it was, “a step forward, a major change.”
The decision follows a popular campaign to end dumping. However, some greeted the news with less enthusiasm as they fear the policy has been watered down. The ban will be introduced via a gradual phasing out of discards and will only apply to pelagic fish such as herring from 2014 and white fish from 2016. The decision will now go to the European Parliament who are calling for even tougher rules for the ban.