Page last updated at 08:20 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 09:20 UK

Welcome for EU fish quota plans

North Sea haddock and cod fish (archive)
Current rules can see fish caught over quota being dumped back in the sea

The Scottish Fishermen's Federation has welcomed EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg's suggestion that annual fish quotas be scrapped.

Mr Borg said that the complex system of quotas could be replaced with an annual allowance of days at sea.

SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong welcomed fresh discussion but also warned that simplifying issues may not solve them.

He said: "Every fisherman will agree that there must be an enforced limit."

Mr Armstrong said: "If the Fisheries Commissioner is genuinely suggesting that catch limits should be scrapped, then he would probably be killed in the rush at the quayside to accept the offer.

"But I am equally sure that if radical simplification is being offered, then scrapping of days at sea would be the first choice at the same quayside.

"Nobody wants to see overfishing and the consequent downward spiral of commercial suicide."

He added: "However, the consequences of using days at sea as the only control measure will require a great deal more thought. It is at best unpredictable and may, for some fisheries create more problems than it solves.

"Nevertheless, it is an encouragement that the Commissioner is prepared to be truly radical and look at all options. We will, therefore, be asking him as a matter of urgency for more detail on what he is actually proposing."

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