Bookmark and Share
25/11/2010

Dumping Of Tonnes Of Fish Angers MLA

A leading politician, the Ulster Unionist Deputy Leader, John McCallister, has hit out over tonnes of fish being caught and then tipped dead back into the sea as waste.

He has expressed his dismay at revelations that there were over 900 tonnes of fish thrown overboard from Northern Irish fishing vessels last year - primarily because they didn't meet the regulations set down in the European Common Fisheries policy.

The NI Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew (pictured) said this week that fish might be discarded for several reasons, other than the need to comply with fish quota limits.

"The majority of discards by our feet are for fish below minimum landing size," she said.

"These fish have no market value as they cannot be legally landed or sold."

However, the South Down MLA commented: "Having been contacted by several irate fishermen over the last couple of years deriding the almost draconian regulations which they have no choice but to follow, I decided to ask the Minister directly of just how much fish has been dumped over recent years.

"When the Minister got back to me and revealed that last year alone there were 906 tonnes of usually dead Cod, Haddock and Whiting discarded I was amazed by the nonsensical nature of the actions.
News Image
"Whiting was the species most directly affected with 628 tonnes being dumped last year alone.

"In the last four years there has been 2,000 tonnes of whiting dumped.

"Fortunately there were only 10 tonnes of Cod dumped back into the water last year; however given the fact that Europe not so long ago would liked to have made us believe our Cod stocks had all but disappeared, dumping 10 tonnes of young dead Cod backing into the sea makes no sense whatsoever," he said.

"While I clearly understand the need to have measures in place to protect the future of fish stocks in the Irish Sea, dumping 906 tonnes of dead fish back into the water is doing neither the animal nor the fishing industry any good.

"The vast majority of the fish were discarded because they didn't meet the minimum landing size (MLS) as stipulated by Europe.

"Rather than making fishermen dump small dead fish back into the sea, the European Commission should really be investing in measures and equipment that makes it almost impossible for these small fish to be caught in the first place."

John McCallister concluded: "Europe must recognise the importance of balancing the need to conserve fish stocks with the need to conserve the fisheries industry.

"In Northern Ireland alone we have dumped thousands of tonnes of young and undersized fish back into the sea. These sorts of actions make no sense whatsoever."

(BMcC/GK)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 September 2016
Police Were Justified Using CS Spray Against Juveniles
Police were justified in using CS spray against juveniles during incidents in Ballymena, at a Co Down children's home and in L'Derry between May last year and February 2016, according to the Police Ombudsman.
03 March 2017
Fire At Fuel Recycling Plant 'Most Idiotic And Dangerous Incident Of The Year'
Police have condemned those who set a fire at a fuel recycling plant, as "the most idiotic and dangerous incident of the year". Police were called to reports of a fire at the plant at the Brannish Road Industrial Estate in Downpatrick.
06 June 2017
Remains Of Seamus Ruddy To Be Brought Back To Dublin
The remains of Seamus Ruddy, one of the Disappeared victims, are to be repatriated in Dublin on Tuesday, 06 June. Mr Ruddy was abducted, murdered and secretly buried in France by the INLA in 1985.
09 March 2017
NI Housing Market Sustains Strong Start
The housing market in Northern Ireland continued its strong start to the year last month, with prices, sales and expectations on the rise, according to new figures. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank's monthly Residential Market Survey showed price growth increased to its highest level in almost a year in February.
22 February 2017
Signature Living To Develop Two New Hotels In Belfast
Signature Living is to develop at least two new hotels in Belfast. The hotel developer confirmed one will include a George Best themed hotel.
18 December 2001
Rodgers averts draconian fishing cuts for province
Agriculture Minister Bríd Rodgers has confirmed that she has averted major EC drastic cuts to Northern Ireland’s fishing quota next year. News about the cuts emerged on Monday as European fisheries ministers began discussions in Brussels on proposals for deep cuts in allowable catches in a bid to conserve fish stocks.
20 April 2017
21-Year-Old Motorcyclist Killed In Co Armagh Collision
A 21-year-old man has died in a road traffic collision near Gilford, Co Armagh. The man is understood to have died after his motorcycle collided with a tractor on the Ballymacanallen Road at around 1.25pm on Wednesday. An investigation has been launched and police have appealed for any witnesses to contact them.
10 April 2017
Appeal Issued For Missing 15-Year-Old Boy
Police have launched an appeal to help trace a missing 15-year-old boy. Darren Braxton was last seen in Carrickfergus on Tuesday, 04 April. He is described as around 5ft 11inches with dark hair. When last seen he was wearing a red baseball cap, blue tracksuit top and carrying a black holdall.
07 April 2017
Brendan Rodgers Signs New Four-Year Deal With Celtic
Northern Irishman Brendan Rodgers has signed a new four-year deal with Celtic. Rodgers, 44, will remain as Manager until June 2021. Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: "Brendan has made a huge impact at Celtic already.
07 April 2017
Four-Year-Old Boy Dies In Farm Incident
A four-year-old boy has died in a farm incident in Maguiresbridge, Co Fermanagh. Police attended the property at around 8.30pm on Thursday, 06 April. The child was pronounced dead at the scene. The Northern Ireland Health & Safety Executive has launched an investigation.
04 April 2017
Around 1,200 People Diagnosed With Bowel Cancer Every Year In NI
Around 1,200 people are being diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in Northern Ireland. The Public Health Agency (PHA) is urging everyone who is eligible for the bowel cancer screening programme to make use of it and to be aware of the early signs of the disease.
22 September 2009
Thorough Probe Demanded As Fish Die
More than 200 dead fish - 150 trout and 55 salmon - have been found on the Shima river in Co Down. The discovery was made just below the Fofany water treatment works near Spelga dam.
22 June 2017
Rise In NI Population
Northern Ireland's population has risen by 10,500 in the past year, new figures have revealed. The increase can mainly be attributed to natural growth of 9,000 people (24,400 births minus 15,300 deaths) and net inward migration of 1,500 people, according to statistics published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).
08 June 2017
Other News In Brief
Three People Convicted Of Benefit Fraud Three people have convicted for claiming benefits they were not entitled to at Craigavon Magistrates' Court. Cosmin Covaciu claimed Jobseeker's Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £2,986 while failing to declare employment. He was fined £200 and ordered to pay an offenders levy of £15.
31 October 2014
Major Fish Kill Declared In Ballyclare
A "major fish kill" has been declared in Six Mile Water, Ballyclare. On Wednesday (29 October), the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) received a report that a number of fish had been found dead in Six Mile Water. A Water Quality Inspector for NIEA was sent to the area to investigate and determine the environmental impact of the incident.