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Last Updated: Friday, 22 August, 2003, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK
Skippers agree to scrap vessels
Fishing boats in harbour
More than 50 skippers accepted pay-outs
Nearly a third of Scotland's dedicated white fish fleet is set for the scrapyard.

The Scottish Executive said the owners of 51 vessels had accepted cash to decommission their boats.

A further 18 owners who had been offered money under the 40m decommissioning scheme have chosen to stay in the industry.

However, more vessels will still be bound for the breakers over the comings months as offers will be made to a reserve list of owners who feel there is no future in fishing.

An executive spokesman said ministers were confident they would meet target of reducing the amount of cod fishing by Scottish crews by up to 20%.

The announcement was made after the deadline for applications to the decommissioning scheme.

Transitional aid

The 69 vessels had been offered grants of between 170,000 and 1m.

The deal struck in Brussels restricts Scottish to 15 days at sea each month.

Cod catches in the North Sea were cut by 45%, haddock catches halved and whiting catches reduced by two-thirds.

The executive has also been given EU approval for a 10m transitional aid scheme designed to soften the immediate impact of the new quotas.

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06 May 03  |  Europe
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18 Feb 03  |  England

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