|The evolution of a discard policy in Europe|In: Fish & Fisheries. Blackwell Science: Oxford. ISSN 1467-2960, more
By-catch; Common Fisheries Policy; discards; European policy; fisheriesmanagement
Ocean sustainability is a widespread public concern in Europe, and the issue of fisheries discards is one that is now widely known. With this increase in public awareness comes the need to adapt fisheries management policies to manage issues like fisheries discards that were not previously taken into account. In this context, this study analyses the evolution of the European Union's discard policy since its inception in 2006 until the present day and the events that shaped its current format. It analyses the policy's advantages and disadvantages, and its political, environmental and scientific consequences. It argues that an increase in public awareness, due to public campaigns against fisheries discards, has focused managers' attention onto a symptom of fisheries mismanagement, rather than on its underlying causes of over-exploitation and lack of fisheries control. This has distorted the discussion of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and potentially undermined its provisions relating to discards.