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‘Fishing for plastics’ becoming a reality?

Europe – Under a new plan from the EU’s fisheries chief Maria Damanaki, fishermen will be paid to catch plastics instead of fish.

The EU fisheries commission is to begin a trial project in the Mediterranean which will see fishermen equipped with nets to gather up plastics, ready for sending for recycling. The goal is to provide these workers with another source of income to reduce pressure on rapidly-dwindling fish stocks.

The European Commission wants to ban the practice of discarding edible fish at sea. Two-thirds of the fish caught in some areas are thrown back – usually dead – because fleets catch more than their quota or because they prioritise higher-valued fish and throw away the less valuable.

‘Ending this practice of throwing away edible fish is in the interest of fishermen and consumers,’ Ms Damanaki has told the UK’s ‘Guardian’ newspaper. ‘It has to happen – we cannot have consumers afraid to eat fish because they hate this problem of discards.’

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