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Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2006, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Fishermen condemn North Sea ban

Cod
Cod stocks will not make a full recovery even with a total ban
The Aberdeen-based Scottish Fishermen's Federation has criticised calls for a complete ban on cod fishing.

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (Ices) wants a total ban put in place for 2007.

But the SFF said almost all the key target species are in good health and do not require dramatic restrictions on catch opportunity.

Ices said a zero catch is needed for the next two years for North Sea stocks to reach target levels.

SFF chief executive, Bertie Armstrong, said: "About a dozen of these species are important to Scottish fishing and a handful is really important.

The majority of European fish stocks are in a parlous state as a result of their mismanagement
Helen McLachlan
Marine Policy Officer for WWF Scotland

"Almost all of these are in good health, needing adjustment and not draconian measures.

"This is because Scotland's fleet has already taken the pain of comprehensive decommissioning and is demonstrably complying with the regulations governing catch and conduct, and is working enthusiastically to make fishing more selective, minimising by catch and discards.

"The march towards maximum sustainability of our entire target fish species must take into account the overall picture, not the specifics of one stock."

Meanwhile, WWF Scotland backed urgent action to safeguard fish stocks across Europe, especially the advice on zero catch for cod in the North Sea, West Scotland and Irish Sea.

Helen McLachlan, Marine Policy Officer for WWF Scotland, said: "The majority of European fish stocks are in a parlous state as a result of their mismanagement.

"It is time the politicians responsible made serious commitments to recovering the fish stocks by heeding the best scientific advice available."

The European Fisheries Commissioner was in Aberdeen on Thursday.


SEE ALSO
North Sea cod fishing ban urged
20 Oct 06 |  Science/Nature
Commissioner gives fishing pledge
19 Oct 06 |  North East/N Isles
Europe's cod puzzle hard to crack
18 Oct 06 |  Science/Nature

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