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Does the EU allow discarding in fisheries?

According to the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which came into affect on 1 January 2014, there is now a discard ban in the EU. The ban will take effect in phases, first in regards to pelagic fish from 2015, thereafter with respect to other species. The transition period ends in 2018. From 2019 a general ban on all discards will be in effect.

The overall objective of the reformed CFP is to make fishing sustainable. As well as a discard ban, fishermen will be obliged to land all commercial species they catch and each Member State will have to make sure that their fishing vessels are equipped to ensure full documentation of all fishing and processing activities so as to monitor compliance with the obligation to land all catches.

This ban will lead to more reliable data on fish stocks, support better management, and improve resource efficiency. It is also an incentive for fishermen to avoid unwanted catches by means of technical solutions, such as more selective fishing gear.