SFF welcomes results of EU-Norway negotiations

The SFF is pleased with the outcome of EU-Norway negotiations to decide upon quotas for shared stocks in 2013.

Quota increases were agreed for a number of key stocks including North Sea haddock (15% increase), North Sea whiting (11%), North Sea plaice (15%), North Sea saithe (15%), and North Sea herring (18%). The North Sea cod quota remains unchanged at the 2011 level, with a facility for boats to increase their cod catch further if they participate in catch quota trials. There was also a 15% increase for West of Scotland saithe.

For mackerel, a catch limit was set that followed scientific advice and which will maintain the EU and Norway’s traditional share of the total allowable catch.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), said: “This is a good outcome based on the science, which reflects the status of our recovering stocks in the North Sea. The rollover of the cod quota will help bring some stability to fishermen - this stock is recovering well and a cut in quota would only have led to unavoidable discarding.

“Our fishermen have been at the forefront of spearheading a range of innovative conservation measures, including technical alterations to trawls to dramatically reduce discards, and adhering to real-time area closures to protect spawning and juvenile fish.

“The decision to set our overall share of the mackerel at the traditional level was also a sensible move, as it was important that nothing was done to reward the irresponsible over-fishing of the stock by Iceland and the Faroes.”

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