Prominent Fisheries Scientist, Martin Pastoors, expresses his views on the EU Discard Ban

5th June 2014 in Discards, Europe / Common Fisheries Policy

The main challenge that I see at the moment is to keep the fishing industry onboard when the policy is looking for drastic changes but without very good explanations or means.

I am really concerned that the new discard ban could do a lot of harm to the positive developments that we have seen over the last decade with the decline in fishing mortality, with the RACs as platforms of collaboration and with initiatives like the Scottish conservation credit scheme. The discard ban is a very complex piece of legislation that is very very difficult to explain. There have been many meetings already trying to figure out what the different elements mean. Taking the discard ban as a learning process, then it could develop in something positive. But if it would be rolled out as a control and enforcement approach, I am really concerned that it will do much more harm than good.

Overall the challenge that I see is to go from a very hierarchical top-down micromanagement style of fisheries management to a management style that is more comparable to other industries: where society gives out a license to produce but the industry needs to demonstrate that it complies with the license. Making the industry responsible to society instead of society telling the industry what to do. That is also why I have taken the strategic decision to be part of the industry and trying to work in that direction

The full Gap 2 Article from which this is an extract can be found here