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Good Outcome for Scottish Fishermen at EU-Norway Negotiations

21 January 2013

SCOTLAND, UK - Scottish fishermen have broadly welcomed the outcome of negotiations between the EU and Norway to decide upon catching allocations for shared stocks in 2013.

The bilateral talks concluded this morning, and against a background of recovering stocks and the scientific advice, quota increases were agreed for a number of key stocks including North Sea haddock (15 per cent increase), North Sea whiting (11 per cent), North Sea plaice (15 per cent), North Sea saithe (15 per cent), and North Sea herring (18 per cent). 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 per cent 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. This is an arrangement that will signal the resolve of the EU and Norway against the background of continuing failure to achieve an international management agreement for the stock with Iceland and the Faroes.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, 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.”

TheFishSite News Desk

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