Cod catch. (Photo: StockFile)
Cod quota will remain unchanged
Friday, January 18, 2013, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
The 2013 cod quota for Scottish fishers will remain as it was in 2012 thanks to the successful bilateral negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Norway.
The third round of talks took place this week and follows a successful outcome of the EU Fisheries Council Negotiations in December, where representatives decided to freeze the cuts to days at sea and agreed on a mechanism delivered that allowed negotiators to stop automatic cuts in the 2013 cod quota.
Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead celebrated the news, saying it shows significant increases for many key stocks that are benefitting from sensible management measures, but does not “seek to reward” the actions of the Faroes and Iceland.
“The deeply flawed cod plan proposed a further cut in quota when the stock is actually recovering, the only result would have been a trail of discards across the North Sea. This outcome will help prevent that nonsensical situation arising,” he stated.
“The industry has much to look forward to in 2013 and while there will no doubt still be challenges ahead, for now at least they are able to plan ahead and be confident the future is looking brighter for them than it has for a long time,” Lochhead added.
The highlights for the North Sea are as follows:
- Cod – agreed rollover of 2012 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) at 10.311 tonnes
- Haddock – increase in TAC of 15 per cent to 29,194 tonnes
- Whiting – increase in TAC of 11 per cent to 11,698 tonnes
- Plaice – increase in TAC of 15 per cent to 25,923 tonnes
- Saithe – increase in TAC of 15 per cent to 7,266 tonnes
- Herring – increase in TAC of 18 per cent to 68,246 tonnes
For mackerel, based on assumed TAC of 542,000 tonnes and agreement that the EU and Norway again take their traditional share; Norway others EU share increase to 6,500 tonnes; and West of Scotland saithe will see a 15 per cent increase in TAC moving Scotland’s share up to 3,627 tonnes.
“This is a good outcome based on the science, which reflects the status of our recovering stocks in the North Sea,” Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), said. “The rollover of the cod quota will help bring some stability to fishermen - this stock is recovering well and a cut in quota would only have led to unavoidable discarding.
- Annual quota talks underway for North Sea species
By Natalia Real