Leading article: Quotas adrift

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The Independent Online

The European Commission's plan to reform the fishing industry is a welcome admission that the so-called Common Fisheries Policy is not working. Unfortunately, it will do little to solve the long-standing problem of over-fishing. Its proposal to phase out "discards" – the practice of throwing up to half the catch back into the sea to avoid exceeding the quota – makes for positive headlines, but will not of itself reduce the quantity of fish caught and landed. Nor can delegating the choice of enforcement and incentives to member states be the whole answer. Without political agreement in Brussels on the size of fishing fleets, there will be no prospect of restoring already dangerously depleted stocks.