Members of the fishery community raised fears how landing obligations in the reformed Common Fisheries Policy would apply to them.
The Cornish Sardine Management Association, which represents the industry, said they had concerns about only being able to catch quota species such as herring and mackerel as a by catch in their fishery at certain times of the year.
However, George Eustice, Fisheries Minister and Conservative MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle, said he had taken the matter up and it had now been confirmed that fisheries that target non quota stocks with a by-catch of pelagic quota species such as seen in the Cornish sardine fishery are not subject to the ban in 2015.
“I am working closely with fishermen and the EU to make sure the way we implement the discard ban is proportionate, practical and effective,” he said.
“After listening to the concerns of the Cornish Sardine Management Association we found a solution which will give us more time to understand if other provisions within the Common Fisheries Policy would be suitable for this important fishery in Cornwall.
“It is through successful consultation like this that we can ensure reforms are implemented appropriately.”
It is estimated that sardines are now worth around £2 million to Cornwall’s economy.
They were once over-fished almost to extinction at the beginning of the 20th century and largely ignored as a serious proposition by fishermen for decades.
However, the humble sardine has seen a return to popularity in the last few years.
Now officially branded as Cornish Sardines, some 4,000 tonnes are landed by 10 Cornish boats each year.
Source : http://www.cornishman.co.uk/Cornish-sardine-industry-thrown-EU-lifeline/story-21745911-detail/story.html