To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the (a) effectiveness of the discard ban in reducing discards of quoata species of fish and (b) the levels of fishermen complying with that ban.
Since its introduction, the Government has worked with the catching sector, the wider industry and other Member States for the phased implementation of the landing obligation which came fully into force on 1 January 2019. There has been no formal assessment of the effectiveness of the landing obligation, however, there has been considerable progress in quantifying challenges such as choke risks and developing solutions to mitigate their impact. Solutions include enhancing and promoting the use of gear selectivity measures and maximising the use of quota management flexibilities to ensure quota is used efficiently and effectively to mitigate choke risks.
Since January 2018, the MMO recorded a total of 132 infringements related to the landing obligation: of which 2 resulted in no further action, 24 resulted in a written rebrief, 104 resulted in a verbal rebrief and 2 are under investigation. We are also exploring the use of Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM), alongside other monitoring and enforcement tools, as a cost-effective and efficient way of monitoring fishing activity and ensuring compliance.