EU calls for one-year ban on cod fishing
The European Commission has called for a ban on cod fishing for the whole of next year off the west coast of Scotland and in the Irish Sea, in an attempt to replenish stocks.
The plan is part of proposed EU catch allowances unveiled yesterday which signal the start of intense haggling over quotas for fishing fleets in the run-up to a final deal in December.
The proposals include increased quotas in 2012 for nine stocks, including haddock, hake, herring, sole as well as cod in some areas, and reduced quotas for 53 stocks.
The package, including the planned freeze on the west of Scotland and Irish cod, amounts to an overall quota cut for all fish of 11 per cent compared with this year – the right level, said the Commission, to help stocks recover and ensure sustainable long-term fishing in Europe.
It includes a 25 per cent increase in the west coast haddock quota thanks to stock recovery, but the Scottish Fisheries Secretary, Richard Lochhead, attacked the rise as "meagre". He insisted the figure was far lower than scientific advice would allow. "Seeing the haddock stock recover to sustainable levels should be a cause for celebration, yet the proposals announced today will only punish the fishermen who have worked so hard on conservation.
"Not only does this penalise our fishermen unnecessarily, but it could also lead to an increase in discarded fish – something both we and the Commission have been working hard to reduce."
In June, the Commission unveiled long-term plans to ban the "discard" practice – the dumping of dead fish back in the sea – as part of a major reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
The discards issue has been publicised across the UK by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, whose "Hugh's Fish Fight" campaign has been endorsed by such celebrities as Richard Branson, Stephen Fry and Ricky Gervais.
Richard Benyon, the Fisheries minister, said: "Today's proposals make clear the urgent need to radically reform the Common Fisheries Policy."
Life & Style blogs
Guest post by Richard Sexton, business development director of e.surv chartered surveyors
Plus lateral thinking and living on London's waterways
Other popular areas include Didsbury, Clifton in Bristol, central Cambridge and West Bridgford
Facial hair: Cat beards and the purrrsuit of excellence
Microsoft's Xbox One: Have the price (£399) and release date (30 November) been leaked by online retailer Zavvi?
James Pembroke: The man who's eaten everywhere
The 10 Best salt and pepper sets
Xbox One vs PlayStation 4: Why Microsoft's console name game just doesn't add up
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
- 5 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.