Call for action over discarded fish
UTV - Ireland
11th April 2004
The Irish government is demanding international action to end what they see as the scandal of throwing away 20 million tonnes of fish each year.
Irish Marine and Natural Resources Minister Dermot Ahern has spelled out the need for a global initiative to key European Union fish policy-makers.
He said: “Unbelievably, 20 million tonnes of fish are being discarded each year - either because they are a by-catch of fishing, or not the species being sought or are juvenile fish.
“This has massive implications for future fishing. We need to end this scandal now.”
Backing calls for the fast-tracking of environmentally friendly fishing methods, the Irish minister added: “We face an urgent problem in discards.
“Over-fishing is part of the problem. But taking that amount out of the seas and then throwing it overboard is shockingly wasteful and has to be substantially reduced in the short term.”
Mr Ahern said he looked forward to consensus among European governments on taking a lead to tackle the worldwide problem of discarded fish - but stressed that nothing could be achieved without the involvement and participation of fishermen themselves.
He declared: “The recognition of the central role fishermen must play in designing the future of the European fishing industry is a clear call to fishermen in Ireland and across Europe to have their say in ensuring that fish stocks are properly preserved for future generations.”