Scots ministers hail EU fishing deal

06 Dec 2010

The Scottish government said the new EU deal struck over North Sea fishing will help safeguard the industry and stocks, despite cuts in quotas. Scots fishermen will be able to land more cod in 2011, rather than having to discard the fish when they reach the limit, said SNP ministers.

However, cod quotas will fall 20% and there will be a 5% reduction in the haddock total allowable catch.

Meanwhile, talks over an ongoing row over mackerel are continuing.

Scottish fisheries secretary Richard Lochhead said the cod deal was reached between the EU and Norway, following talks on Saturday night (4 December).

"Under the deal, Scotland's catch quota scheme, whereby fishermen land everything they catch without the wasteful discards imposed on our fishermen by the EU's flawed Common Fisheries Policy, will be extended," he said.

"Scottish fishermen will be able to land, rather than having to discard, an extra amount equal to 12% of the total allowable catch cod.

"This will enable us to more than double the number of boats participating in the scheme, to around 40, therefore, landing more, yet catching less, will help the stock."

North Sea fishing 2011 total allowable catch changes

  • Cod - 20% reduction
  • Haddock - 5% reduction
  • Herring - 21% increase
  • Saithe - 13% reduction
  • Whiting - 15% increase

The UK government takes the lead in European fisheries talks, with input from Scottish ministers.

The mackerel quota row has been ongoing since Iceland and the Faroes earlier sparked outrage by unilaterally setting mackerel quotas in their own waters.

Despite Iceland walking away from talks, Lochhead said he was hopeful a three-way deal between the EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands could be put in place.

[Source: BBC News]


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