EU deal struck to ban dumping of dead fish

The Government today hailed an EU agreement to introduce a blanket ban on dumping dead fish back in the sea.

Fisheries minister Richard Benyon called it "a historic moment".

"The scandal of discards has gone on for too long and I'm delighted that the UK has taken such a central role in securing this agreement," Benyon said after marathon talks in Brussels.

Earlier this month MEPs overwhelmingly backed the biggest-ever Common Fisheries Policy reforms, crucially including an end to so-called "discards".

In the UK, TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall launched a "Discards Campaign" that has so far attracted more than 850,000 signatures on a petition.

The EU Fisheries Commissioner said almost one quarter of all fish caught in European waters is being dumped at sea due to discards.