THE EU has brokered a landmark agreement to introduce a blanket ban on dumping dead fish back in the sea.
Earlier this month MEPs overwhelmingly backed the biggest-ever Common Fisheries Policy reforms, crucially including an end to so-called "discards" - a consequence of current CFP quota rules restricting the size of landed catches.
EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki - who once admitted the CFP was "broken" - says the discards system means almost one quarter of all fish caught in European waters is being dumped at sea.
Biggest resistance to fisheries reforms on the scale demanded by MEPs came from France, Portugal and Spain.
The agreement, which was secured after marathon talks into the early hours of this morning, will see the discarding of edible fish banned for stocks like herring and whiting from January 2014. A ban for white fish stocks was also agreed, to begin in January 2016.