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Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 3rd February 2011.

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Photo of Madeleine Moon Madeleine Moon Labour, Bridgend

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of catch-quota schemes in reducing the discarding of fish; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

In 2010, the UK ran two voluntary trials in England and Scotland to test the effectiveness of the catch quota system at reducing discards of cod in the North sea. Six vessels participated in England and 17 in Scotland.

Initial results from both trials indicate that the catch quota system is very effective at reducing discards of cod. For UK vessels, the three year (2007-09) average discard rate for cod in the North sea was 51%-in comparison the discard rates for participants in the English trial were between 1% and 7%. A full analysis of the results of both trials will be available in the spring.

The UK is running an expanded catch quota trial in 2011 for North sea cod and south-west sole.

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