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Haddock catch. (Photo: Stock File)

ICES recommendations prove encouraging for Scotland

  (UNITED KINGDOM, 7/4/2017)

New scientific assessments have revealed that there will be significantly higher numbers of north sea cod, haddock and whiting available to Scottish fishermen next year.

The assessments were performed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and will be helpful to inform the fisheries negotiations that take place in the autumn to decide how much quota fishermen will receive in the coming year.

This year’s advice takes into account changes to discard levels resulting from the phasing in of the landing obligation over the past two years.

According to ICES experts, some stocks like Norway lobster and haddock are already fully phased; some like North Sea cod and whiting are partially phased; and others like saithe will be increasingly incorporated in 2018.

The latest science includes advised increases for North sea cod (27 per cent), whiting (34 per cent), Norway lobster (7 per cent), saithe (7 per cent) and haddock (30 per cent), while there are advised reductions for other stocks such as hake (-4 per cent).

“While there are some disappointing declines in hake which is an increasingly difficult species to manage, overall these figures confirm we are moving in the right direction. They will be welcome news for the fishing industry with whom we will work closely over the summer to help shape our priorities for the autumn talks,” pointed out Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing.

The secretary highlighted that despite the uncertainties of Brexit, the Scottish Government will always stand up for the fishing industry, which too often has been let down by the UK Government.

“We will be pushing for a negotiating outcome that has Scotland’s interests at its heart,” Ewing concluded.


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