Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Crucial EU fish talks break down

Fishing boat
The fishing talks broke down on Tuesday

The Scottish fishing fleet could face problems after crucial talks between the EU and Norway over fishing rights broke down.

The talks always take place at this time of year but it is thought no agreement is now likely before the turn of the year.

It is understood that could ultimately see Scottish and EU boats being banned from Norwegian waters and vice versa.

The talks traditionally come ahead of the EU Fisheries Council in Brussels.

Scottish Fishermen's Federation chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: "At this stage it is too early to assess what the breakdown in these talks will mean for Scottish fishermen in 2010 and it is possible that the current arrangements will be rolled over into next year.

"However, the failure in these negotiations does add extra uncertainty in what is already a very difficult situation for Scottish fishermen.

"It is now more vital than ever that a fair and sensible arrangement is agreed at next week's Fish Council meeting."

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