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Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 17:51 GMT
Fishing quotas will 'destroy ports'
Cod
Scientists say cod stocks are under threat
A leading fisheries campaigner has warned small Yorkshire ports face being wiped out if the European Union (EU) presses ahead with plans to cut quotas.

John Ashworth, spokesman for the Save Britain's Fish campaign, says the impact could be bigger than the closure of the Humber's deep sea fishery.

"Bridlington, Whitby, Redcar - all these ports are suffering. If the quota cuts go ahead it will only get worse," he told BBC News Online.

"I remember when there was more than 300 vessels in the Hull docks, now there's virtually nothing but a handful of boats."

Franz Fischler with cod in hand
Franz Fischler wants an 80% quota cut
European Fisheries Commissioner Franz Fischler confirmed on Wednesday that he wants to reduce quotas as a way of preserving depleted stocks.

He said: "We have a moral duty not to let these stocks disappear, as well as a social duty to protect our coastal areas most dependent on fisheries."

Cod levels have fallen so low that EU scientists are unable to predict whether potential recovery measures will work.

But Mr Ashworth insists the move to reduce quotas is part of a ploy by the EU to admit more countries - and give each state a smaller share of the fishing rights.

He said: "It will be horror and shock to most people - but we've been expecting this for 10 years.

"I've spent 20 years at sea, and I know if we worked with, rather than against each other, the fishing potential is enormous for the whole of Europe, not just Britain."


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26 Nov 02 | Scotland
27 Nov 02 | Scotland
26 Nov 02 | Scotland
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