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Monday, 29 October, 2001, 06:44 GMT
Cod stocks on EU agenda
Fishing net
Low levels of North Sea cod remain a worry
Scottish fishermen were due to meet European Unions officials in Brussels on Monday to discuss further ways of protecting dwindling cod stocks.

They were being joined by fishermen from England, Wales and Northern Ireland and by representatives from other North Sea countries who have been concerned about their livelihoods.

Members of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation were due to take with them to Europe evidence that avoiding certain areas can considerably reduce the number of cod that are killed.

Rhona Brankin
Rhona Brankin: "Fisheries policy not working"
Scientists have said that despite tough conservation measures, stocks were still near collapse.

But the same scientists said other white fish species, like haddock and whiting, were doing well.

The problem facing fishermen has been how to catch more of these fish without catching cod at the same time.

The talks in Brussels were seen as vital in helping gain agreement between fishermen, scientists and governments about catch limits and other measures to protect cod for next year.

Cod stocks in the North Sea have been at their lowest ever level.

Only last week Scottish Fisheries Minister Rhona Brankin conceded that the common fisheries policy was not working and said the Scottish Executive was working with Westminster and Brussels to develop better legislation for the seas.

Ms Brankin said the executive was committed to making the seas sustainable.

See also:

23 Oct 01 | Scotland
Oceans summit tackles sea stocks
31 Aug 01 | Scotland
Fishing pay-off scheme opens
30 Apr 01 | Scotland
Fishing restrictions to end
15 Mar 01 | Scotland
Clash during second fish debate
13 Mar 01 | Scotland
Fishermen make 'burning' protest
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