Approximately half the fish caught in marine fisheries are thrown back into the sea because they are un-marketable or over-quota. But very few survive and the practice is directly damaging to fish stocks. A call to ban discarding has gained widespread support through the campaigning efforts of supermarkets, pressure groups and celebrities. The reformed European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) now intends to ban the practice by 2019.
This has been hailed by campaigners as a triumph. But what does the science say? Could a ban lead to more sustainable fishing? And what other measures must be put in place to ensure there are plenty more fish in the sea?
The authors of a new study published in the journal Fisheries Research came to the SMC to present their findings.
Prof Alastair Grant, Professor of Ecology at the University of East Anglia (UEA)
Harriet Condie, Research Student at UEA
Dr Tom Catchpole, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)