EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT VOTES TO REFORM FISHERIES POLICY
Europe's MEPs voted to ban the discarding of healthy fish and to implement measures to protect endangered stocks in a series of sweeping reforms to the controversial EU Commons Fisheries Policy. A spokeswoman for the Greens said that the reforms would "finally put the EU's fisheries policy on a sustainable footing," as waste discards are estimated to account for a quarter of total catches under the current quota system. The practice, which involves fishermen throwing back hundreds of tons of edible fish, often dead, because they have passed their quotas, has been cited as a failure of a policy that promots overfishing. Many commercial operators depend on the discard practice to be able to net the highest value species, but the package passed by 502 votes to 137. For the full story, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21352617 and http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/06/meps-back-fishing-policy-reform.