Talks focus on what should replace the Common Fisheries Policy
European fisheries ministers have concluded a meeting in Brussels with a consensus to effectively scrap current rules that decide fishing quotas.
Environmentalists and fishermen alike have long argued the existing system - set annually - has failed the industry.
Fish caught over quota are dumped back in the sea even if dead, and in the UK alone numbers of fishermen have fallen by a third over the decade.
The European Union has until 2012 to draw up a new Common Fisheries Policy.
It is estimated the existing system of quotas means for every kilogram of cod caught in the North Sea, another kilogram has to be dumped overboard, dead or alive
There was also unanimous support for a new Common Fisheries Policy to be radically decentralised - giving more power to member states and to the industry- an official representing the Czech Republic confirmed to the BBC.
This was a central objective of the UK delegation. It was essential the annual "horse-trading" over quotas was replaced by a "longer term view informed by good regional science and management", according to the Huw Irranca Davies, UK Fisheries Minister.
"Discussion of reform of the Common Fisheries Policy was the lengthiest debate today," said Jakub Sebesta, Minister of Agriculture of the Czech republic, the current holders of the rotating presidency of the EU.
EU Fisheries Policy
Common Fisheries Policy was established in 1983
EU fisheries policy last reformed in 2002
EU fishing fleet is second largest power after China.
In 2006 EU imported 3 times as much fisheries products as it exported
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