Common Fisheries Policy: Implementation of the demersal landing obligation (discard ban) in England

Closed 31 Mar 2015

Opened 23 Jan 2015


We are seeking your views on our proposals to implement the landing obligation in England for demersal fisheries. The landing obligation puts an end to the wasteful practise of discarding, thus preventing fish being thrown back into the sea, dead, after being caught.

The phased introduction of a landing obligation, also known as a “discard ban”, was one of the key successes the UK Government secured in reforming the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The reform is designed to deliver sustainable fish stocks, a healthy marine environment and a prosperous fishing industry.

We are consulting on five key areas including how to best utilise the flexibilities the UK secured as part of the reform package, to enable our fleet to operate successfully under a landing obligation; enabling vessels to fish throughout the whole year, land more fish and benefit financially. Full details of these are included in the consultation document, which along with a draft impact assessment can be found on the consultation webpage.

Why we are consulting

This consultation will run until the 31st March and the responses will inform our policy position and negotiations at the regional groups to ensure we develop an appropriate, fair and effective Discard Plan for demersal fisheries. These demersal Discard Plans must be submitted to the EU Commission for adoption no later than June 2015.

We will publish a summary of responses along with a Government response to the consultation 12 weeks after it closes.


  • All Marine Users
  • Government Departments
  • Government Agencies
  • Coastal Members of Parliament
  • Coastal local authorities
  • Coastal Management sector
  • Ports and Harbour Authorities and Estuaries
  • IFCAs
  • Angling Organisations and Trade
  • Fishing Focus individual recipients
  • Fishermen


  • Marine
  • Common Fisheries Policy
  • Fish stocks
  • Sea angling
  • Conservation
  • Marine fisheries
  • Rural economy and communities