Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Open consultation Common Fisheries Policy: implementation of the demersal landing obligation (discard ban) in England


We are seeking views on how we should implement the demersal landing obligation in England. The demersal landing obligation is a ban on the discarding of fish. This prevents fish being thrown back into the sea after being caught, except when subject to specific exemptions. Demersal fisheries are those in which fishermen primarily catch demersal species (fish which live and feed close to or on the seabed) such as cod, haddock, sole and plaice.

In particular, we are seeking views on five keys areas of implementation including:

  • phasing in of the landing obligation
  • quota management
  • access to exemptions
  • catch management
  • monitoring and enforcement

The landing obligation for demersal fisheries will come into force gradually between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019.

Implementation of the demersal landing obligation is one of several measures that will contribute towards achieving Good Environmental Status in our seas.


We are seeking your views on our proposals to implement the landing obligation in England for demersal fisheries. The landing obligation puts an end to the wasteful practise of discarding, thus preventing fish being thrown back into the sea, dead, after being caught.
The phased introduction of a landing obligation, also known as a “discard ban”, was one of the key successes the UK Government secured in reforming the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The reform is designed to deliver sustainable fish stocks, a healthy marine environment and a prosperous fishing industry.
We are consulting on five key areas including how to best utilise the flexibilities the UK secured as part of the reform package, to enable our fleet to operate successfully under a landing obligation; enabling vessels to fish throughout the whole year, land more fish and benefit financially. Full details of these are included in the consultation document, which along with a draft impact assessment can be found on the consultation webpage.

Why We Are Consulting

This consultation will run until the 31st March and the responses will inform our policy position and negotiations at the regional groups to ensure we develop an appropriate, fair and effective Discard Plan for demersal fisheries. These demersal Discard Plans must be submitted to the EU Commission for adoption no later than June 2015.
We will publish a summary of responses along with a Government response to the consultation 12 weeks after it closes.

Give Us Your Views

Online Survey

Related Documents