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EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee
Report published on 8 February 2019. Government response received 4 April 2019. Awaiting debate.
Despite the long lead-in time, when the Committee examined the issue in November and December 2018 they found little evidence of the landing obligation being followed to date and an almost unanimous view that the UK was not ready for full implementation.
Without being able to discard fish, fishers may reach their quotas much earlier in the year – particularly in 'mixed fisheries' where it will be hard to avoid catching a species for which there may be a very low quota. The Committee heard that fishers could hit their quota for some species in some areas within a few weeks of the landing obligation coming into force, forcing them to choose between not fishing for the rest of the year (which would have serious financial implications for them) and breaking the law by continuing to fish for other species and discarding anything caught over quota.
The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee takes evidence from the bodies responsible for enforcing fisheries legislation.