5 February 2013 Last updated at 00:05 ET

Can new technology save fish?

By Roger Harrabin
Environment analyst

A technological revolution is needed for Europe to end the controversial practice of discarding fish, according to the EU’s fisheries commissioner.

Maria Damanaki is calling for boats to be fitted with smart nets to filter out fish which would later be discarded as too small or above quota.

And she wants more on-board cameras to ensure that crews cannot cheat on fishing rules.

She told BBC News that the hoped-for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy could not happen unless fishermen harnessed new technology.

Spy-in-the-wheelhouse CCTV cameras trialled in the UK are said to have cut cod discards from 38% to just 0.2%.

Fishermen on the trial are obliged to land all the cod they catch, whatever the size. They have been rewarded with increased quotas and permitted extra days at sea.

Ms Damanaki says cameras will be essential – especially for the biggest boats – if the EU adopts a policy of zero fish discards.

Read more: BBC News – Can new technology save fish?.

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