The UK fishing industry is warning it faces ruin because of EU quotas which result in thousands of tonnes of dead fish being dumped back into the sea.
It says fishing crews often continue catching large amounts of fish, such as cod, by accident after exceeding quotas and have no option but to dump them.
The practice leaves crews struggling to make a living, while damaging hopes for sustainability, say environmentalists.
EU commissioner Joe Borg acknowledges the problem but sees no clear solution.
Quotas strictly limit the amount of fish that each vessel can bring back to port. But there is no such limit on the amount of fish they actually catch.
Often, boats fishing in the “mixed fishery” of the North Sea catch a species or size of fish which is not what they were targeting.
Trawler skipper Phil Walsh told BBC News the quota for cod and other white fish he and other inshore fishermen were allocated by Brussels this year was tiny.
By June he had landed all of the cod he was allowed. So, since then, he has been fishing for prawns and dumping prime whiting, haddock and cod, which would fetch as much as