The UK seafood industry is in talks with the European Commission to map out how a ban on discards at sea would work in practice.

The Discard Action Group, which was set up in 2007 by industry body Seafish, is seeking to establish how a ban would affect the UK fisheries industry and what legislation needs to be in place to ensure a ban works. It has written to EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki - who has pushed for discards to be banned as part of her proposals for reforming the Common Fisheries Policy - and met with EC officials in Brussels to outline the UK industry’s views.

“The general approach to CFP reform has been agreed, and whilst a timeframe is not finalised for phasing out discards, we do know that a discard ban is going to be introduced,” said DAG chairman Mike Park. “This will create a major change for the UK fishing industry and we need to start looking now at how we plan for that.”

Meanwhile, Norway, Denmark and Sweden are set to ban discards in the Skagerrak strait from 1 January - a move that will be watched closely as it is likely to inform how discard bans could work elsewhere.