Move on fish discards just ‘spin’ - Cope

The agreement reached by EU fisheries ministers earlier this month to end the discarding of dead fish at sea has been downplayed by an Irish MEP as “spin”.

The agreement reached by EU fisheries ministers earlier this month to end the discarding of dead fish at sea has been downplayed by an Irish MEP as “spin”.

Fianna Fáil MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher criticised what he described as the “flawed approach” adopted by the ministers and said “spin and publicity will not solve the problems facing the fisheries sector.”

The measures, which include a phased introduction to ending the practice of discarding dead fish, have been hailed by Marine Minister Simon Coveney as “the most significant breakthrough at an EU Fisheries Council for more than a decade, which will fundamentally change how fishermen operate.”

But Mr Gallagher has accused the ministers of “completely ignoring” the role of the European Parliament as a co-legislator in fishing matters. He said:“This does not bode well for the negotiations which lie ahead on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and will continue for at least one year....MEPs will have a major input into this.”