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Thursday, 15 November 2018

Implementation and enforcement of the EU landing obligation inquiry

Seems a bit late in the day but here is a chance for all those affected to offer some information, insight and thoughts on the subject.



In the South West, (especially ICES fishing areas VII e, h & g) haddock and sole are discarded by the ton from beam trawlers, trawlers and netters alike - the landing obligation will highlight both of these species as 'choke species'.

In the North Sea hake will feature in the eLogs of many vessels and become the choke species that forces vessels to stop fishing.

There are plenty of ways to air your thoughts to the  EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee - see below. Read the guidance notes that go with the call for information.



Latest from Parliament:

Discarding is the practice of throwing unwanted fish back into the sea. An average 1.7 million tonnes of fish and other marine life used to be discarded in the EU each year, because it was unmarketable, unprofitable, exceeded the amount of fish allowed to be caught, or was otherwise unwanted. Not only is this a waste of finite resource, as many fish do not survive discarding, it also makes it difficult to accurately measure how many fish are actually caught (which is necessary to monitor the health of fish stocks and prevent over-fishing).

The EU landing obligation seeks to gradually eliminate discards by requiring all catches of specified types of fish to be landed. It has been implemented in stages, beginning in 2015; by 1 January 2019 it will apply to all fish stocks for which the EU sets a Total Allowable Catch.

This inquiry will focus on the impact that the landing obligation has had to date, how it has been enforced and what challenges are posed by full implementation in January 2019.

Call for Evidence:




Background


Discarding is the practice of throwing unwanted fish back into the sea. An average 1.7 million tonnes of fish and other marine life used to be discarded in the EU each year, because it was unmarketable, unprofitable, exceeded the amount of fish allowed to be caught or was otherwise unwanted. Not only is this a waste of finite resource, as many fish do not survive discarding, it also makes it difficult to accurately measure how many fish are actually caught (which is necessary to monitor the health of fish stocks and prevent over-fishing).

The EU landing obligation seeks to gradually eliminate discards by requiring all catches of specified types of fish to be landed. It has been implemented in stages, beginning in 2015; by 1 January 2019 it will apply to all fish stocks for which the EU sets a Total Allowable Catch.


Questions

The Committee is seeking evidence on the following questions:



1. What has been the impact in the UK to date of the EU landing obligation? What challenges have there been to implementation? 
2. What do you expect the impact to be when the landing obligation is fully implemented in January 2019? What challenges may there be to implementation? 
3. What steps could or should be taken between now and January to improve implementation? 
4. How effectively is the landing obligation currently enforced in the UK? What challenges have there been to enforcement? 
5. What challenges may there be with enforcing the landing obligation when it is fully implemented in January 2019? 
6. What steps could or should be taken to improve enforcement? 
7. To what extent do you believe the UK is prepared to fully implement the landing obligation from January 2019? 
8. To what extent could the use of more selective technology by the fishing industry help fleets fish successfully under the terms of the landing obligation? 
9. Are other EU countries facing


Scope of the inquiry


The Committee are inviting individuals and organisations to share their experience of the impact that the EU landing obligation has had to date, and their views on what impact full implementation might have from January 2019. The Committee are also seeking comments on how effectively the landing obligation is being enforced and what the UK Government could do to address some of the challenges posed by the requirements of the landing obligation.

Chair’s comments

Lord Teverson, Chair of the Sub-Committee, said:

"Reducing discards is vital to protecting the health of our oceans. We know, however, that the landing obligation is a major change for the fishing industry and that there are genuine concerns about the impact it may have on fishers' livelihoods. It also requires a shift in how we monitor and enforce fishing regulations, and we know there is some doubt as to whether current arrangements are adequate. We want to understand the challenges that will need to be overcome, and potential solutions to those challenges, and would really encourage those with experience or interest in these issues to share their views with us."


Call for evidence published 15 November 2018. The deadline for submissions is 11.59pm on Thursday 13 December.