Fish discard ban catastrophe headed off by Conservatives


Ian Duncan, the Conservative MEP for Scotland, has applauded the decision of the Fisheries Committee to reverse its decision of yesterday, which would have introduced the discard ban for cod a year early.

Despite being in Paris attending the UN Climate Change talks, Ian has been applying pressure on fellow members of the Fisheries Committee and its chair, Alain Cadec MEP, to revisit the issue as a matter of urgency and to ensure that Scottish fishermen can have confidence in the arrangements for the implementation of the discard ban.

The result of yesterday’s vote would have meant that EU fishermen had only 3 weeks' notice to prepare for the application of the discard ban to all species, including cod, from 1 January 2016. Incredibly, the European political groups of the SNP (the Green/EFA) and UKIP (the EFDD) voted for this proposal, much to the consternation of Scottish fishermen.

Speaking from the COP21 Climate Change talks in Paris Ian said:

"I welcome the intervention of my colleague Peter van Dalen MEP who was instrumental in ensuring the U-Turn by the Fisheries Committee. As a result of us applying pressure on the Committee, the discard ban will again be phased in as was originally planned, applying to cod from 1 January 2017."

"Those who sit on the Fisheries Committee must pay greater heed to the implications of their actions. Had my colleagues not been able to reverse this decision, it would have been a bleak Christmas for many. Lessons must be learned from this debacle."


Contact Andrew Johnston

Chief of Staff, Ian Duncan MEP